Hard Rock Bought The Taj For $50M, But Plans To Invest Much More In Remodel

Taj Mahal Casino sign
The price Hard Rock Resorts International paid Carl Icahn for the Trump Taj Mahal turns out to be just $50 million. Hard Rock got a very good deal. According to the Press of Atlantic City, Icahn Enterprises valued the property at $86 million in 2016.

The Trump Taj Mahal, which opened in 1990, cost a whopping $1 billion to build. The high price tag set the casino up to fail. Despite plenty of foot traffic, the property has been through multiple bankruptcies.

The former jewel of Atlantic City casinos is now a shuttered eye sore. The property has been stripped of its signage, which is quite the story in its own right. Now it sits empty, in a state of disrepair.

Hard Rock spending $400 million on renovations

The property certainly needs quite a bit of work. Hard Rock knew what it was getting into when it purchased the Taj Mahal though

After he rescued the Taj from bankruptcy, Tropicana owner Icahn spent tens of millions of dollars on necessary improvements to the casino. He was reportedly ready to pump another $100 million into the Taj Mahal before an irresolvable labor dispute forced him to close the casino.

But the initial investment by Icahn merely scratched the surface. Based on Hard Rock’s numbers, the additional money from Icahn would have been little more than a Band-Aid.

After acquiring the Taj Mahal, Hard Rock pledged to spend $400 million on renovations and upgrades. Once completed, the Atlantic City landmark should reopen next summer as the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City.

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Taj Mahal getting a total makeover

When it does reopen, the property will be unrecognizable.

“There will not be one — and underscore the word ‘one’ — piece of design, architecture, minaret or anything left over from the Taj Mahal,” said Hard Rock CEO Jim Allen at a press conference in April. “We are removing it all.”

In addition to its new brand and look, Hard Rock will be upping the property’s amenities and entertainment game. But, the Hard Rock Atlantic City will stay true to its gaming roots.

From the Hard Rock website:

“The property will offer a range of gaming opportunities with plans calling for 2400 slots and 130 table games. Additionally, the casino will boast an entirely redesigned interior, new first-class food and beverage concepts headlined by Council Oak Steak & Seafood made famous at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino properties in Florida. The property’s Hard Rock Cafe Atlantic City will be upgraded to a 400-seat venue, including a new stage and central location within the property.”

Photo by Andy Borysowski / Shutterstock.com

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Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.