Just 30 years ago, Atlantic City was the cool new kid on the block, giving us a legal gambling alternative to Las Vegas. Big-name companies scrambled to build casinos and luxury hotels, giving a massive boom to the city's economy. Lately though, Atlantic City has been seeing some serious hard times, with new closures seemingly announced every month—including Showboat, Revel, and Trump Plaza. With so much going on, we wanted to recap some important happenings, but don't worry, there may be light at the end of the tunnel.
- The 17-acre Taj Mahal, which opened in 1990, became the fifth casino to close its doors in the past year. Don't fret about Donald Trump though, because according to The Daily Beast, he wants everyone to know he made a killing in Atlantic City. Whew. We were worried about you, Donald.
- The New Jersey Senate budget committee approved a tax stabilization plan for the city that allows Atlantic City casinos to pay a collective of $150 million annually instead of property taxes. And after two years, that number may drop to $120 million.
- Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management announced they decided against buying the former Revel Casino Hotel.
Photo Courtesy of Harrah's Resort
- A new bar has opened at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City called #BarWithNoName. Yes, that is its official name. The craft cocktail bar is right by the hotel's check-in area and is meant to serve as a nice in-between place to have a drink and charge your iPhone—there's a charging station, obviously.
- Everyone's favorite spiked-blond Food Network personality Guy Fieri opened his Chophouse in Bally's Atlantic City. Though you may want to roll your eyes, Atlantic City Weekly recently visited and reported that the cuisine was actually pretty great, especially the sashimi tuna tacos starter and the Lobster On Fire entrée.
- Gordon Ramsay is opening a new Pub & Grill at Caesars, which is all set to open its doors early next year.
- Chelsea hotel owner Curtis Bashaw may be looking to open a new boutique hotel/casino, which would be the first casino to open since the Revel debuted in 2012, according to the Courier-Post.
So, not everything is doom and gloom for Atlantic City, and we're hoping that the new bar openings and celebrity-driven restaurants will bring some life back to the city.