Hard Rock International, along with two partners, has reached an agreement to purchase the 2,010-room Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel
in Atlantic City from billionaire developer Carl Icahn. The resort was shuttered last fall following a long showdown between the casino workers' union and Icahn. Hard Rock will be majority owner of the gaming resort, in partnership with the Morris family, which owns real-estate development firm Edgewood Properties, and the Jingoli family, which operates construction and energy firms. The group will invest more than $300 million to purchase, substantially renovate and rebrand the property as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
"We are excited to be part of this revitalization of Atlantic City, creating thousands of jobs to help local employment," stated Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International. "We are 100 percent convinced Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will be a success."
"Both the Morris and Jingoli families are honored and excited to partner with Hard Rock International in the rebuilding of Atlantic City," said Jack Morris, CEO of Edgewood Properties. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of revitalizing one of our nation's most iconic destinations. Atlantic City has a rich and dynamic history, and we are so proud to help recapture that greatness."
Icahn, who also owns Atlantic City's Tropicana Casino and Resort, said in a statementWednesday night, "We ... are extremely happy with our ownership of the Tropicana Casino and Resort, and after considerable analysis and deliberation we determined that we only wanted to own one operating casino property in Atlantic City. A sale of the Taj Mahal therefore represents the optimal outcome for us. We wish Hard Rock and its partners the best of luck with the Taj Mahal."