This summer, with the unveiling of two new hotel casinos, it seems as if Atlantic City has finally caught a hot streak. Though the city was once on the brink of bankruptcy, the re-imagining of two new hotel casinos has given it a much needed resurgence. Recently, VUE visited the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, which is located at the site of the once storied Trump Taj Mahal. After a $500 million overhaul, and a massive 60-foot guitar greeting its guests, the resort is positioning itself as a true multi-faceted destination.
In typical Hard Rock fashion, everywhere from the corridors to the 119,000-square-foot casino floor is streaming with star power and memorabilia—Michael Jackson’s glove, Bruce Springsteen’s stage outfit and Elvis Presley’s Rolls Royce to name a few. But beyond that, one of the first things you’ll notice is undoubtedly the small details the new hotel casino put into its design. From psychedelic rugs to ceilings that look like the strings on a guitar, everything fits the Hard Rock M.O. and then some.
As a destination, the 17-acre resort is perfectly positioned right on Atlantic City’s boardwalk and Steel Pier—with Hard Rock’s Beach Bar just a few steps away for daytime relaxation. In addition, the property’s comedy club is hosted by Howie Mandel, and its Etess Arena is bringing in stars of all generations for performances (and you can bet the competition has noticed).
On top of Hard Rock’s 400-seat signature Hard Rock Cafe, the hotel casino will look to fill 20 food and beverage slots. Of those already there, Robert’s Steakhouse retains its location from the Trump Taj Mahal; Italian transplants from both NYC and Las Vegas make an appearance; and Sugar Factory, a 1,500-square-foot confectionary. But it’s perhaps Hard Rock’s upscale seafood restaurant, Council Oak Fish, that steals the culinary spotlight—featuring local raw bar, shellfish pots, beach views and an open kitchen.
Vegas East’s complete 180 will take time. However, one thing is for sure, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has brought the city some much needed stardom. Between attracting local and national celebrities and its prime location, it’s poised to be at the pinnacle of Atlantic City’s revival. (Oh, and make sure to get a beach view.)