Hump Day Report: Happy Birthday Borgata
Rants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD that has fired up my imagination, an intriguing personality, or what’s happening in the region. — Lori Hoffman, Associate Editor, Atlantic City Weekly.
Happy Birthday, Borgata.
It has been ten years (officially July 3) since the signature marina district casino hotel opened its doors in the summer of 2003. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I attended the opening weekend of the casino. I was given a full tour of this amazing adult playground, enjoyed an overnight stay, had a delightful meal at Luke Palladino’s Specchio and watched the first official performer at the Music Box, a Canadian singer who was an unknown at the time, but whose career exploded shortly afterwards. His name: Michael Buble.
The big name signature restaurants and nightclubs arrived a few years later. What Borgata proved was that you could create a destination casino hotel in the Atlantic City region.
Like the rest of the local casinos, Borgata has had to change and grow in response to the competition from casinos in surrounding states, and has done so better than any other casino in the region. As Atlantic City Weekly author Ray Schweibert notes in this week’s cover story on the Borgata milestone, the Borgata set the bar high and had other casinos in the region scrambling to keep up. That hasn’t changed in the last decade.
Speaking of casinos with an eye on being a destination resort, Revel has had a tough first year as the first new casino in Atlantic City since Borgata opened in 2003. Determined to be an instantly popular high-end destination resort and hoping to prove that gambling only needed to be a small part of the appeal, the casino suffered through some embarrassing growing pains including going in and out of bankruptcy.
Revel has now listened to its customers and made some major changes, including allowing smoking, providing a less expensive dining option (Relish), providing tier levels for its players rewards card and building a players lounge for its best customers. Revel has even changing its name from Revel to Revel Casino Hotel.
To celebrate these changes designed to sell the gaming side more strenuously, and as the centerpiece of its new “Gambler’s Wanted” marketing push, the casino’s officials say it won’t really be gambling when you play the slots at Revel in July. One hundred percent of slot losses over a hundred dollars will be refunded to anyone who plays with a Revel Players Club card.
Jeff Hartmann C.E.O. of Revel Casino Hotel stated, “We’re launching Revel again, what we call Revel 2.0 … we got out of the gate a little choppy, so we’re asking our customers for a second chance.”