Hard Rock AC Wants A Fresh Start, Just With Old Taj Employees

Posted By Bart Shirley on January 23, 2018 - Last Updated on January 22, 2018

The soon-to-open Hard Rock Atlantic City is looking to rehire former employees of the defunct Trump Taj Mahal. The Hard Rock website posted a listing for former Taj employees with 30 days or more of experience at the closed property.

Job openings exist in many different areas of the new casino’s operations. Experienced workers may find employment in one of the following sectors:

  • Food and beverage
  • Hotel operation
  • Table games
  • Slot operation
  • Cage operation
  • Marketing and entertainment

The New Jersey casino owners expect to make around 3,000 permanent hires. The property plans on a gaming floor with 2,400 slot games and 130 table games, along with a new slate of restaurants, event venues, and other amenities.

Hard Rock bringing back former employees is good business

At first glance, it may seem odd to want the employees of the prior casino to return. By returning to previous habits and behaviors, they could disrupt the new management’s program for creating a fresh, new atmosphere.

However, in seeking former Taj employees, Hard Rock is attempting to preserve institutional knowledge and retain the operational memories of the old place. Even with $500 million in renovations, it’s still the same building.

Buildings and businesses always possess idiosyncrasies. Without these former workers, Hard Rock will find itself on a massive learning curve for operating a casino and hotel in that location.

The Taj Mahal and its employees did not end on good terms

Hard Rock’s hope may be that hiring some of these same employees may smooth the new casino’s opening. The Taj opened new in 1990, and some of its original employees were still there when it closed.

Rehiring old employees may also generate goodwill within the Atlantic City community. It is likely that there is some residual bitterness left over from the final years of Trump Taj Mahal’s existence.

Declining revenues due to economic concerns and near-state competition heralded a terrible downturn in Atlantic City for much of the last decade. The Taj also maintained an acrimonious relationship with its workers’ union, UNITE Here Local 54.

Tensions finally boiled over in Sep. 2014 when Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for bankruptcy and announced plans to close the casino in Nov. 2014. Workers staved off the closure by reaching a deal in Dec. 2014.

However, the deal only prolonged the casino’s demise. Management returned to the union in 2016 and demanded more concessions.

The concessions included reductions to healthcare and pensions. The union deemed these unacceptable and chose to strike in July 2016.

The casino malingered for four more months. The Trump Taj Mahal turned out its lights for good on Oct. 10, 2016.

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City will open in summer 2018.

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Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley is a writer and poker player from Houston, Texas. When he's not teaching high school math and business, Bart writes about the NJ online casino industry and US online poker. He has a master's degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a degree in English from Texas A&M.

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