- Resorts Atlantic City
casino=Resorts Hotel and Casino Atlantic City
Atlantic City, New_Jersey 08401
date_opened=Built in 1929, opened as a casino on
May 26, 1978
space_gaming=99,951 square foot
attractions=Platinum Place slots
shows=Superstar Theater, Catch A Rising Star comedy club
restaurants= Gallagher's, Cappriccio, Asian Spice
Colony Capital, LLC
names_pre=Resorts Casino & Hotel
website= [http://www.resortsac.com http://www.resortsac.com]
Resorts Hotel and Casino Atlantic City is a
hotel, casino, and spa in Atlantic City, New Jerseyowned by Colony Capital, LLCand is managed through its gaming subsidiary Colony RIH Holdings, Inc.. Resorts was the first casino hotel in Atlantic City, becoming the first legal casino in the eastern part of the United States, when it opened on May 26, 1978. Resorts has a 27-story hotel tower called the "Redezvous" with the largest standard guest rooms of all the casinos in Atlantic City. In 2005, before the completion of the Harrah's Entertainmentand Caesars Entertainmentmerger, Caesars Entertainment sold the Atlantic City Hiltonto the Colony Capital, making Resorts and Hilton sister properties.
Resorts International, which was formed in March 1968, first became interested in developing a resort in Atlantic City after the company learned of a planned fourth attempt to bring casino gambling to New Jersey by limiting it to Atlantic City. The company heavily contributed to the November 1976 gaming referendum which successfully passed that year. While campaigning for the gaming initiative, Resorts also began planning for a future Atlantic City casino by securing an option for 55 acres of land on the Atlantic City Boardwalk from the city's Housing and Re-Development Authority as well as paying $2.5 million to purchase the historic
Chalfonte-Haddon Hall Hotel.
Resorts plans included reducing the Chalfonte-Haddon Hall from its current 1,000 rooms at the time to a 566 room resort with casino, restaurant, and shopping space. The company's logic in this decision was that renovating an existing property on the boardwalk would give the company an advantage by allowing the resort to be open at least a year before its competition as well as be less expensive to construct. However, Resort's plans went against the state's wishes for casino development in Atlantic City, since state leaders wanted companies to build new resorts there and not conduct "patch and paint" jobs on existing properties. However, with Resorts Atlantic City being the first casino project developed in New Jersey, the company was able to avoid any state criticism. This would not be the case with many of the later resorts built on the Boardwalk.
May 26, 1978Resorts Atlantic City opened its doors at 10:00AM that morning. Initial gaming laws in New Jersey only allowed casinos to operate for 18 hours during the week and 20 hours during the weekends. This situation produced massive lines outside of Resorts and people waited hours to get inside after Governor Brendan Byrnecut the ceremonial opening ribbon. The situation later calmed and Resorts Atlantic City emerged as a profitable and powerful destination on the Boardwalk.
Despite the initial success of its flagship Atlantic City property, Resorts International struggled to compete with its competition as more casinos were developed on the boardwalk. Newer and more extravagant resorts began to erode market share and interest in the property during the 1980s, and Resorts International added to the problem by not making any significant upgrades to the property. Instead, the company focused on expanding its operations in the market by announcing in the mid 1980s its plans to develop a new property called the
Taj Mahal. Financial difficulties, however, prevented Resorts International from ever completing the Taj Mahal project, and in 1987 the company became a takeover target when Donald Trumppurchased a controlling block of Resorts International stock. In late 1987 Trump made an offer to all remaining Resorts International shareholders to buy all of the remaining outstanding shares of the company's stock that he did not already control. Trump was challenged for control of the company in early 1988, though, when Merv Griffinthrough his Griffin Gaming & Entertainment company also made a bid for all of the stock in Resorts International. After two-month battle for control of the company, Trump and Griffin finally reached an agreement to divide the company's holdings between them. Trump would receive the Taj Mahal project already under construction by Resorts International, while Griffin would receive ownership of both Resorts Atlantic City and another casino property Resorts International owned on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
After conclusion of the deal between Griffin and Trump, Griffin spent $90 million making improvements to Resorts Atlantic City, while selling the Paradise Island property to
Sun International Hotels. Griffin later sold the remainder of Griffin Gaming and Entertainment in 1998 to Sun International Hotels for $350 million.
Sun International Hotels was headed by Sol Kerzner, and under his leadership the company planned a $500 million revamping of the property after completing the purchase. However, the company only completed a $48 million expansion and renovation to Resorts Atlantic City in 1999 before refocusing its efforts on its other international properties. In 2001, Sun International sold the property to Colony Capital for $140 million; less than half of the cost the company originally paid to buy the property.
Under the leadership of Colony Capital plans initially made by Sun International to expand Resorts Atlantic City were carried out with the announced construction of the new 459-room Rendezvous Tower that would also contain an expanded casino with 800 new slot machines, 10 table games, and new restaurants. The $125 million expansion began in 2002 with the demolition of an existing hotel tower on the site. The expansion opened in 2004.
The rooms in the new Rendezvous Tower were designed to be the largest guest rooms in Atlantic City by making them about 100 square feet larger than the average guest room found in the city's other casinos. There are two types of rooms in the tower: 357 luxury rooms and 42 suites. Combined with the property's existing 480 rooms, Resorts total room inventory was boosted to 879 rooms after the tower was completed. Each of the new rooms in the Rendezvous Tower were designed with a number of guest amenities as well as including two separate showers, and high speed Internet access. The exterior of the tower features an Art Deco design that was part of a "return to the classics" theme which Colony Capital implemented for the property.
Colony Capital sought to expand the resorts brand beginning in June 2004 with a $280 million purchase of the
Las Vegas Hiltonfrom Caesars Entertainment. The company followed by announcing a major expansion of its gaming holdings in July 2005 when the company paid $1.24 billion to acquire four properties from Harrah's Entertainmentand Caesars Entertainmentas part of their $9.4 billion merger. The properties incluced Harrah's East Chicagoin East Chicago, Indiana, Harrah's Tunicain Tunica, Mississippi, Bally's Tunica, and The Atlantic City Hilton. The Harrah's properties in both Tunica and East Chicago were rebranded with the Resorts name and all of the company's properties were consolidated into its Resorts International EntertainmentDivision.
*Curran, John. "Sky's the limit: New tower keys Resorts turnaround." "The Associated Press State & Local Wire." 18 June 2004.
*Staley, Oliver. "2 TUNICA CASINOS ARE SOLD." "The Commercial Appeal." 28 September 2004
*Urgo, Jacqueline L. "Former Trump Hotels Executive Approved to Run Atlantic City, N.J., Casino." "The Philadelphia Inquirer." 29 March 2001
* [http://www.hotel-online.com/News/PR2004_3rd/Sept04_ColonyCapitalCasinos.html Colony Capital Acquiring Harrah's Resorts ]
* [http://www.ccgtcc.com/piccolosachistory.pdf Gaming in Atlantic City article]
* [http://www.resortsac.com Resorts Atlantic City]
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