2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic may have hurt casino operators’ abilities to generate a lot of revenue, but Caesars Entertainment is taking the situation in stride. It announced yesterday that it will be making a large investment in its Atlantic City properties as it looks to help make the city’s gambling scene popular again. Caesars will be upgrading both the Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and the Caesars Atlantic City, with some of the updates to be ready this summer and others to be completed in 2023.
It’s Time for an Atlantic City Overhaul
Atlantic City has suffered several downturns over the years as the casino market tried to become the East Coast Las Vegas. COVID-19 hasn’t helped those efforts, but Caesars is gambling on a large investment to catapult the city forward. It announced yesterday that it will spend $400 million over the next three years renovating its properties there. Caesars has a third property in Atlantic City, the Tropicana, but didn’t specify that any upgrades would be completed on this venue.
When everything is finished, there will be updated room towers, new interior designs, improved gaming floors, new dining options and additional amenities. The first phase, which will include a renovation of hotel rooms and suites at both Caesars and Harrah’s, will cost around $170 million and is expected to be complete sometime this summer.
Explains Anthony Carano, Caesars’ President and Chief Operating Officer, “Building on our rich, 40-year legacy in the market, we are excited to introduce the new Caesars Entertainment to Atlantic City through our $400 million investment and development plan. These exciting plans over the next three years will revitalize Caesars’ brand of hospitality, and will continue to position Harrah’s, Tropicana, and Caesars Atlantic City as leading resorts in the market. We remain bullish on Atlantic City, and this commitment will further position us for long-term growth and success.”
New Jersey Leaders Support the Upgrades
2020 was especially detrimental to Atlantic City’s casinos, which reported a combined year-on-year decline in revenue of 80%. That essentially erased the efforts that had been seen over the previous couple of years as New Jersey supported the city through the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and the Atlantic City Redevelopment Authority. However, a number of issues, including major storms, COVID-19 and improprieties by former city leaders, have kept Atlantic City from flourishing. The state took over control of the city in 2016 and still manages it today.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy welcomes the investment by Caesars and sees it as a possible mechanism to put Atlantic City on the right path. He explains that he and his administration are teaming up with “corporate, community and government” entities to “reestablish Atlantic City as a premier tourist destination” in the state, adding that the Caesars investment should go a long way to assisting the recovery efforts.