Caesars Entertainment, as part of its sale of Bally’s casino in Atlantic City last year and acquisition of Tropicana, promised New Jersey regulators that it would spend heavily on upgrades to its three properties.
This week, the company announced some details and renderings of its $400 million in planned upgrades at Tropicana as well as holdovers Caesars and Harrah’s — the latter located in the Marina District.
The upgrades include “remodeled room towers; freshly appointed interior design elements; enhancements to the casinos’ gaming floors; new dining concepts with acclaimed restaurant partners” and so on, over the next three years.
The first phase is a $170 million renovation starting this summer of about 600 guest rooms and suites at Caesars and Harrah’s. The upgrades will be at Caesars’ Centurion and Ocean Towers, as well as Harrah’s Atrium Tower.
Details on the upgrades
At Caesars, the designs “will feature a modern Roman aesthetic, drawing inspiration from the local Atlantic City scenery, including the beach, ocean and famed Boardwalk. The guest rooms and suites will feature rich hues of blue and cream accent colors, contrasting white and gray tones, and contemporary furniture, including modern bathrooms with oversized showers, mirrors, and signature amenities.”
At Harrah’s, “design inspiration was drawn from the casino’s upscale, yet accessible brand of hospitality with rich elements that are fun, lively and vibrant playing off the resort’s sophisticated Marina District locale.”
“Building on our rich, 40-year legacy in the market, we are excited to introduce the new Caesars Entertainment to Atlantic City through our $400 million investment and development plan,” Anthony Carano, Caesars president and CEO, said in a statement. “We remain bullish on Atlantic City, and this commitment will further position us for long-term growth and success.”
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. said that he is “thrilled” that the largest gaming company in the U.S. is taking these steps in his city.
In 2020, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Tropicana ranked third among Atlantic City’s nine casinos with $205.6 million in gross gaming revenue.
Harrah’s placed fifth at $182.8 million, and Caesars was next at $147.8 million.
Each casino’s history
Caesars opened in 1979 — a year after Resorts became the first legal casino in the U.S. outside of Nevada — as the Boardwalk Regency after a remodeling of a Howard Johnson’s hotel. The Caesars name was added in 1983, and four years later the “Boardwalk Regency” name was dropped as Caesars expanded on its Roman theme.
Harrah’s opened in 1980 as the first casino in the marina area of the city, and for a time it was the city’s top-grossing casino. Tropicana, meanwhile, opened in 1981 at the site of the fabled Ambassador Hotel of “Boardwalk Empire” TV series fame. The casino took on the “TropWorld” name from 1988-95 before reverting to its current title.
Caesars and its 1,141 rooms operated at 77.6% capacity during 2020 with an average room rate of $126.76. For much larger Harrah’s, its 2,590 rooms had an occupancy rate of 60.5% and an average rate of $120.34.
Tropicana and its 2,364 rooms had an occupancy rate of just 54.9%, although it achieved a room rate of $145.47.
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