If you believe the rumors, June 28 will be one busy weekend on The Boardwalk.
It just so happens that is the same grand opening date set by Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City earlier this month.
The date was discovered based on the employment contracts of several new hires. New Ocean Resort Casino employees signed agreements to begin work June 11. It also mentioned an anticipated opening date of June 28. The Press of Atlantic City confirmed this information with multiple new employees.
For Ocean Resort Casino, its mums the word
There is no official confirmation or denial of the date from the team at Ocean Resort Casino, but the company did issue a statement.
“The Ocean Resort Casino Team is committed to opening this summer and looks forward to announcing its highly anticipated opening date soon,” the company’s CEO, Frank Leone said in an email to the Press.
Ocean Resort employees seem to be the only ones in the know. Mayor Frank Gilliam and City Council President Marty Small are not aware of an official opening date for the casino. Nor has Dale Finch, the director of the city Department of Licensing and Inspections.
Keeping the official opening date close to the vest is par for the course for Ocean Resort Casino. Since purchasing the former Revel Casino Hotel earlier this year, they have been very strategic in what information comes out of the corner office.
Unlike Hard Rock Atlantic City, which has dominated headlines with frequent announcements and updates, Ocean Resort has remained relatively quiet regarding its plans for the property.
There is still one major hurdle to clear
Both Ocean Resort Casino and Hard Rock Atlantic City have been working feverishly to be ready to capitalize on the city’s busy summer period. But to date, no hearings have been scheduled to obtain licenses from the state Casino Control Commission for Ocean Resort.
Everyone involved is excited to have two shuttered hotels back in operation. David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, confirms that officials are working with both properties to make sure they secure the proper licenses in time for the grand openings.
“The Division is working closely with both operators as they go through the regulatory process in preparation for the expected casino openings this year,” said Rebuck. “This includes actively working on licensing matters as well as ensuring operational systems such as floor layouts, gaming equipment, security, surveillance, and staffing meet our regulatory standards.”
Same grand opening date may be a bit risky
If the speculation is correct, and Ocean Resort Casino opens on June 28 alongside Hard Rock Atlantic City, it might prove to be a risky move.
The positive aspect of two highly-anticipated grand openings happening on the same weekend is customers will undoubtedly flock to The Boardwalk. The lure of grand opening specials, an excellent entertainment lineup, and sheer curiosity will be strong among residents and visitors alike.
The risk, however, is customers will be voting with their wallets in a what is likely to be a direct competition for their attention.
Regardless of the opening date, there will be comparisons between the two newest casinos in the city. Both properties opening at the same time will produce a clear winner, and it won’t look good to come out on the losing end of that competition. But both opening in the same summer no matter the date may have a similar reaction.
One thing is for sure, by the time Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino open, it will feel like a new Atlantic City.
Trump Taj Mahal has been sitting vacant for almost two years, and Revel Casino has been empty for nearly four. Bringing life back into two new properties is vital for the economic stability for which Atlantic City has been striving.
Regardless of what happens during the weekend of June 28, Atlantic City becomes the big winner.