Bally’s Atlantic City is paying homage to a native son of the seaside resort and a revered gambling industry executive who passed away earlier this year.
The Carousel Bar in the lobby of the iconic Boardwalk hotel is now named in honor of Phil Juliano (1947-2023).
Juliano, whose lengthy résumé includes stints at multiple Atlantic City casinos, was born and raised in the Ducktown neighborhood of AyCee, according to his obituary. Before his passing, Juliano was executive vice president of operations and chief marketing officer for Bally’s Corporation, overseeing the famed AC property’s “return to glory.”
His son, Paul Juliano, is senior vice president of operations for Bally’s Corp.
Bally’s Atlantic City bar dons Juliano name
The carousel bar is the centerpiece of a $100 million-plus renovation of Bally’s Atlantic City. The capital reinvestment plan includes the renovation of hundreds of hotel rooms in the main tower, the construction of The Yard and several new slot areas on the gaming floor.
The carousel bar debuted Memorial Day weekend 2022.
Phil’s Carousel Bar is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The 24-seat, 360-degree rotating bar was intended to conjure nostalgia of Boardwalk amusement rides and Atlantic City’s heyday — before legal casinos — as the World’s Playground. The 0.16 horsepower motor rotates Phil’s Carousel Bar 2.5 to 5 revolutions per hour.
Phil’s Carousel Bar also features a signature cocktail named in honor of the late Juliano, the casino said. The Phil is a Belvedere vodka martini, straight up, no vermouth, with a trio of blue cheese-stuffed olives.
Get to know Atlantic City’s native son Phil Juliano
Juliano graduated from Holy Spirit High School (Absecon) and LaSalle University, and began his professional career as a teacher and coach. His teaching résumé includes time at Pleasantville High School and Atlantic City High School. He coached varsity baseball at ACHS for several years as well.
When casinos came to AC in the late ’70s, Juliano took a swing at a career change. Over the course of a four-decade career in gaming, he worked at (among others) Tropicana and Showboat.
He joined Rhode Island-based Twin River Worldwide Holdings in 2009. When Twin River bought Bally’s AC for $25 million in 2020 (and, later, the Bally’s Corporation name and brand), Juliano immediately took an interest in his old stomping grounds.
In this exclusive PlayNJ interview, the local with “sand in his shoes” detailed why restoring the casino at the most famous address in the world (Boardwalk and Park Place) was so important.
Long-time Atlantic City writer and radio host Scott Cronick wrote this poignant and touching piece about Juliano just before the Thanksgiving holiday. It is worth a read.