Hard Rock Hotel Bets Big On Atlantic City

Hard Rock International runs 25 hotels, 11 casinos, and 181 restaurants in 75 countries, and it's placed its newest bet on Atlantic City, where a $500 million Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will be opening on the famed Boardwalk on June 28, it was announced this week.

After a massive makeover of the 17-acre property that was home to the Trump Taj Mahal from 1990 until its 2006 closure that saw the site completely renovated, the Hard Rock will open with a lineup of some of the country's top musical acts, a 400-seat Hard Rock Café, a beach bar, a casino with 2,100 slot machines and 120 table games, and a rock-themed hotel.

More than 50 music acts, Broadway shows, and comedians have already been booked for the hotel's main stage, including Third Eye Blind (7/5); Florida Georgia Line (7/13-14); Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo, and Rick Springfield (7/26); Rascal Flatts (7/26); Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (7/27-28); George Thorogood (8/9); Blake Shelton (8/18); Counting Crows with Live (8/23); Toby Keith and Trace Adkins (8/26); Amy Schumer and Friends (9/1); Steely Dan (10/13); Kid Rock (10/19-20); and Rock of Ages (10/30-11/4).

All hotel guests will have access to 24-hour in-room dining, a 24-hour gym, chairs and umbrellas for the beach or pool, and The Sound of Your Stay, an "in-room music amenity program" that lets guests curate custom playlists, have an electric guitar and amp delivered to their room, and listen to records. Other amenities will include a full-service spa and salon, a clothing and souvenir shop, and 150,000 square feet of convention space.

This opening comes at an interesting time for Atlantic City; as Marina hotels such as the Borgata and Harrah's continue to thrive (they're the city's first- and second-highest-performing casinos, respectively), the Boardwalk has been looking for its next act as Showboat, the Trump Taj Mahal, Revel, and Trump Plaza have all closed in recent years. But the fact that the Showboat re-opened as a hotel, Revel is expected to re-open as Ocean Resort Casino later this year, and Hard Rock has made such a major investment in the city shows that its best years may still be ahead of it.