Atlantic City residents and other interested parties are finally getting a sneak peek at the new Ocean Resort Casino.
Bruce Deifik, chairman and owner of AC Oceanwalk told the Associated Press in a recent interview that “Ocean Resort Casino will not open until it is truly ready.”
Learning from Revel Casino’s mistakes
The former Revel is one of Atlantic City’s most significant failures, and Deifik will not let history repeat itself.
“The first thing we did is pay very close attention to what people said about this place, positive and negative,” he said. “We will listen; that’s a difference-maker. Treat people with respect. Be glad they’re here, and treat them as family members. The main difference is a completely different attitude concerning service to our customer. I think there was a huge disconnect there.”
When Revel first opened, it was an entirely non-smoking property. It was a big mistake that forced Revel to allocate 25 percent of the casino floor as smoking. Additionally, the player rewards program was not on par with other casinos and players were disappointed with comps.
But probably the biggest problem that Revel faced was that many guests felt unwelcome unless they had high-roller status. Minimum night stays, lack of access to The Boardwalk, and a confusing floor plan all contributed to Revel shutting down operations.
Revel Casino Hotel cost $2.4 billion and shut down just two short years after opening. It had been shuttered for four years when Deifik bought the property in January for $200 million.
Now, for the first time, Deifik reveals what is in store for The Boardwalk when Ocean Resort Casino opens its doors.
Ocean Resort focuses on superb customer experiences
Taking up residence at nearby Tropicana Casino and Resort, Deifik has been managing the $200 million renovation project every step of the way.
And while there are plenty of physical changes to the property, the most significant difference may be in its approach to its guests.
“I’m a non-smoker, but there are groups of people out there that are smokers, and you have to be respectful to those people when they come,” Deifik said.
Deifik knows success isn’t guaranteed just because smokers are welcome. He wants to provide every guest with unrivaled customer experiences. Providing such experiences is what is driving the renovations.
To begin with, the casino floor is being designed to encourage foot traffic from The Boardwalk and to make it easier for guests to find their way around the 138,000 square feet of gaming space.
When the doors finally open at Ocean Resort Casino, all guests regardless of gambling level are welcome. Employees will be on hand to make sure they know it.
And Deifik is not leaving anything to chance.
“She doesn’t have that luxury of being able to make a mistake without people saying, ‘Aha!'” Deifik said of the property. “I think everybody is looking to find fault; I’m going to make sure that’s not going to be the case.”
Get ready for Wahlberg, Topgolf, and Cereal Town
To be fair, Mark Wahlberg himself is not the attraction, but his popular restaurant, Wahlburgers will be. Additionally, Wahlberg will be opening Entourage, a bar that gives a nod to his role as producer of the hit HBO series.
Besides Wahlberg, Ocean Resort Casino is partnering with Topgolf to open the world’s largest Swing Suite in Atlantic City. The golf-themed entertainment company is the latest entertainment craze sweeping the nation. It will bring luxury lounges with a variety of virtual games to The Boardwalk.
For guests looking to soak up the sun, the property will have five swimming pools including the HQ Outdoor Pool and Nightclub, one of the former Revel’s success stories.
Pending the US Supreme Court decision on sports betting, guests will be able to watch and bet on their favorite games in a state-of-the-art sportsbook.
“Atlantic City is coming back with a vengeance, and with the groundwork for the legalization of sports betting, we foresee a great opportunity to bring a state of the art sports book to a city which caters to a large and diverse sports market,” said Deifik earlier this year.
Ocean Resort Casino is not just catering to gamblers either. It is keeping families in mind by offering more family-friendly entertainment and dining options. A giant candy store and cereal for dinner at Cereal Town will make adults feel like kids again.
Deifik says he is learning from past mistakes. He is focusing on the customer experience and partnering with brands that will differentiate Ocean Resort Casino from its competition.
It is undoubtedly a strategy that will overshadow the mistakes of Revel and establish Ocean Resort Casino as a player in the NJ gaming industry.