ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey
A new bill that allows two casinos with 200 rooms has been approved by the NJ State Senate, as reported by The Press of Atlantic City. Current casino legislation allows only 500 room hotel casinos, but bill proposed allows for 200 room casinos that will expand to 500 rooms within 5 years. The bill is in response to current economic conditions in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where projects struggle to find investment capital, this bill will act as a stimulus to spur grwoth in the resort town.
The first interested party is Hard Rock International, they said that if the bill is approved it will move to begin immediate work on its proposed Atlantic City casino hotel. Step one is the Design work, the Hard Rock casino estimates it would take about six to eight months, with construction spanning over another 18 to 22 months, Jimmy Allen said. Although the Hard Rock is far from finalizing its designs, preliminary plans call for 200 to 300 hotel rooms to start, eventually building up to 500. “We’re committed to going ahead and meeting the 500-room minimum,” he said.
The Hard Rock Casino remains one of the few developers serious about building a new casino in Atlantic City, NJ, a gaming market mired in a significant revenue slump and impacted by competitors in nearby states. Atlantic City, New Jersey has been further hindered by a sluggish economy, but Jim Allen said there are signs of a recovery on the horizon. He believes Atlantic City, NJ has absorbed the worst of the initial impact from the rival Pennsylvania casinos. “There are a lot of good things happening in Atlantic City if you begin reading between the lines,” he said. Hard Rock is encouraged by Southwest Airlines pending takeover of AirTran Airways, a carrier that serves Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) from Atlanta. The merger potentially means expanded AirTran service to Atlantic City or Southwest could bring in its own brand of flights to Atlantic City.