Atlantic City:Casinos Plan Lavish New Year Bash

Logic dictates that after a very tiring year spent combating the U.S’ appalling economy as well as competition from other states, Atlantic City’s casinos would think twice before hosting a lavish New Year’s Eve party, this is not the case…

Atlantic City’s casino will enter 2011 with a bang indicating no signs of the current recession whatsoever. “To us New Year’s Eve is very important,” mentioned Mark Giannantonio, who is the president of Tropicana Casino and Resort. “To be honest New Year’s Eve is by and large our busiest day of the year. We’ve decided to take the bull by the horns and try our best not to concentrate on the recession; everybody aims to have a fantastic time.”

Giannantonio said they expect approximately 10,000 tourists at the Tropicana this holiday season, greater than the population of most New Jersey towns. Tropicana and Atlantic City’s 10 other casinos are fully booked or only a small amount of hotel rooms are still available for the holiday weekend, casino officials said.

“We can’t keep up at this point in time,” said Don Marrandino, president of Bally’s Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort and Showboat Casino-Hotel, all owned by Caesars Entertainment Corp. “Visitors can forget about receiving any discounts, we’re here for business and it’s up to patrons whether or not they want to pay our fees.”

Hotels that are fully booked will give casinos a much needed shot in the arm and up dwindling revenues considerably. Apart from New Year’s Eve and Presidents Day weekend, most casinos normally have to rent their rooms at discounted prices even during the gloomy winter months in the hope of attracting guests who stay overnight.

New Year’s Eve, Presidents Day and the Fourth of July are normally our busiest three holidays for Atlantic City’s gaming industry. The good thing for us is that New Year’s Eve falls on a Friday, thus giving the casinos a prolonged holiday weekend.

Casinos anticipate that the New Year’s Eve party celebrations will set the benchmark for economic growth in 2011. Declining gaming revenues by Atlantic City casinos for four consecutive years could be ascribed to the current economic stagnation in the U.S and it is further exacerbated by competition from casinos in Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware.

The U.S’ poor economy has dampened New Year’s Eve celebrations in 2008 and 2009. However, the casinos this year have decided what the heck live is too short and decided to return to some of the grander partying of years gone by. At Resorts Casino Hotel, for example, the property will showcase a “Roaring ’20s” theme constituting gaming hall’s rebranding celebrating its new owners.

The rebranding of the resorts has been encouraged by the success of the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire,” which is based on Prohibition-era Atlantic City. The Resorts’ new owner Dennis Gomes believes the New Year’s Eve’s atmosphere further enhances the 1920s theme. Gomes and his family will celebrate New Year’s Eve with guests and welcome them to the “new Resorts.”

“Our company is truly locally owned and it no longer forms part of the layers of corporate filters patrons have to waddle through,” Gomes said. “Basically it’s like your grocery store on the corner where everybody knows everybody even the owners.”

Creditors have decided to take over the money-losing Resorts in 2009 after failing to pay back the amount of its $360 million mortgage. Gomes in partnership with financial backer Morris Bailey, a New York property tycoon, purchased the casino from a group of banks for $31.5 million.

The Resorts epitomized the hardship symbolized throughout the whole casino gaming industry in 2010. The majority of the casinos end 2010 with poor casino revenues. Tropicana and the three Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. casinos have changed ownership after liquidation sales.

Executive president of the Spectrum Gaming Group Harvey Perkins, a Linwood-based casino consulting firm, irrespective of the dire economic climate, it is up to the casinos to throw a lavish and extravagant New Year’s Eve parties to show their business appreciation toward their players. Perkins concluded by saying that rival casinos in neighbouring states will be following suit, therefore it’s absolutely essential Atlantic City’s casino owners to avoid its customers from “going” to other casinos.

Steve Gietka, vice president of entertainment for Trump Entertainment, said New Year’s Eve represents an occasion for casinos to compensate its patrons for their loyalty, in particular when it faces a poor economy.



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