Jim Allen, CEO of the Hard Rock brand, seems to be regretting the company’s entry into Atlantic City.
Hard Rock CEO Underwhelmed by Atlantic City
The Hard Rock brand came to Atlantic City’s boardwalk during the summer of 2018, and its venue was expected to be a huge hit. Unfortunately, the Hard Rock Atlantic hasn’t seen a great response, and its executives are showing signs of regret of their decision to head to the east coast.
Jim Allen, CEO and Chairman of Hard Rock International, has recently gone on record to criticise Atlantic City. He stated that his company has put a huge sum of money into the destination to build the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, but the city itself hasn’t been a good host so far.
In an interview with Global Gaming Business, he is quoted as saying:
“Candidly, we’re disappointed with Atlantic City. There’s no other way to say it. It’s a shame that they did not rise to the occasion of a company coming in, putting $500 million into that city.”
In addition to spending half a billion dollars to revamp the old Trump Taj Mahal, the Hard Rock also created over 3000 new jobs for local residents. The company has made a significant contribution to Atlantic City, and it seems that its executives feel that the site hasn’t been particularly grateful.
While he didn’t elaborate on his comments, it seems as though Allen is disappointed with the casino’s profits. While there isn’t much that Atlantic City itself can to do really drive people towards the Hard Rock, casinos on the boardwalk have been experiencing trouble for quite a while.
In fact, Tilman Fertitta, CEO of the Golden Nugget, stated that the nine casinos in Atlantic City are already too numerous. All of the operators are competing for profits but few are investing the money that they need to in order to attract new players to that area.
Where Does Atlantic City Go From Here?
It’s quite a complicated issue, and it doesn’t seem like Atlantic City is entirely to blame, as per Jim Allen’s comments. One thing is for sure, however, and it’s that the city really is in need of a refresh to attract more players. Whether that requires more investment from the casino operators themselves, the city of Atlantic City of the state of New Jersey remains to be seen.
Sports betting is off to a great start in New Jersey, and that could be the key to solving the issue of overcrowding in Atlantic City. Casino operators may need to hop on the online betting bandwagon in order to generate the revenue they need to stay viable.
This is a story that we’ll continue to monitor. New Jersey really does have what it takes to be a top gambling destination but there are still some obstacles to overcome.