Harrah’s Atlantic City Adds to $250 Million Renovation for Summer 2019

Harrah's $250 Million Renovation - Harrah's Pool After Dark

The Pool After Dark is a part of the $250 million renovation project at Harrah’s.

In a further sign of Atlantic City’s recovery, Harrah’s Casino on the Boardwalk said it has earmarked a further $56 million for its renovation. When completed, Caesars Entertainment will spend $250 million on renovations for Harrah’s Casino Atlantic City.

Caesars, which owns Harrah’s Casino and two other Atlantic City properties, Caesars Atlantic City and Bally’s AC, is redesigning the Harbour Tower at Harrah’s. When the renovations are completed in summer 2019, Caesars plans to rename the hotel the Coastal Tower.

The project also includes a redesign and refurbishment of 507 hotel rooms and VIP suites in the main hotel.

The additional investment in Harrah’s is a further sign that Caesars Entertainment still believes Atlantic City is a place where growth can happen.

Caesars Entertainment’s Atlantic City Casinos

Not that long ago, Caesars Entertainment appeared to be cutting its losses on Atlantic City. In August 2014, Caesars shut down its fourth Atlantic City casino, The Showboat, despite the venerable casino continuing to make a profit.

The idea was to cut labor costs and consolidate its customer base in the three remaining casinos. Caesars retained the customer information for the Showboat casino and shift their accrued rewards to the Caesars AC, Harrah’s, and Bally’s.

The move was one of 4 casino closures in Atlantic City in 2014, bringing the total number of gaming operations in the city to 8 at the time. In October 2016, the Trump Taj Mahal closed due to owner Carl Icahn’s anger over labor strife, bringing the number of local casinos to 7.

Opening of Hard Rock Atlantic City

Since then, though, Icahn sold the Trump Taj Mahal to Hard Rock International, which conducted a $500 million renovation. It reopened on June 28, 2018 to much fanfare, but concerns that another casino operation might cannibalize revenues of the previously existing casinos.

Also, Revel Casino was sold to Colorado real estate developer Bruce Deific, who rechristened the opulent skyscraper the Ocean Resort Casino. Like Hard Rock Atlantic City, Ocean Resort casino had its grand opening on June 28 of this year.

Harrah’s Casino Renovations: The Pool After Dark

With two vibrant new competitors on the Boardwalk, Caesars Entertainment might have been expected to take a conservative approach to its three Atlantic City casinos. Instead, it’s renovating one of its three properties to better compete with the new competition.

The renovations include a restoration of The Pool After Dark, a popular pool and nightclub. Harrah’s is also adding four new restaurants: AC Burger Co., Coastal Craft Kitchen & Bar, Veracruz Mexican and Spanish street fare, and Guy’s Sammich Joint, designed by Food Network personality Guy Fieri.

The project also includes a glass-enclosed heated dome, a dance floor with massive LED walls “for celebrity performances”, a new elevated DJ area, and better cabanas and bungalows. Harrah’s Casino New Jersey should be well-placed to continue to attract top performers, top DJs, and top celebrities. In the recent past, it has welcomed acts like DJ Pauly D and Nick Cannon, along with celebrities like Paris Hilton and Amber Rose.

Why Caesars Believes in Harrah’s AC

Caesars Entertainment has reasons to believe in Harrah’s Altantic City. Unlike 2014, Atlantic City casinos have several advantages now to help generate revenue. In 2014, New Jersey online gambling was only months old. Now, it’s a fully developed industry which generates millions for each casino operator.

The Atlantic City casinos also have sportsbooks and mobile sports betting apps. The inception of New Jersey sports gambling means more NFL, NBA, and MLB sports fans will walk into an AC sportsbook to place a few wagers. While the margin is small on sports bets, a percentage of these new customers will stay around the play some of the slots or table games.

Plus, the economy is better now than it was 4 years ago. The recovery from the Global Recession continues apace, which means Americans have more disposable income to spend on casino gambling. All these factors contribute to a better environment for Harrah’s Atlantic City.