Taking In The Scenes From Bally’s Atlantic City Grand Opening Party

Written By Bill Gelman on May 27, 2022 - Last Updated on April 10, 2024
Bally's AC 2022

When opening the classic Monopoly board, every player wants to own Park Place and The Boardwalk because it’s prime real estate. Well, in the real world, that land is home to Bally’s Atlantic City.

In case you haven’t heard, the property is looking much different these days.

Trust us as PlayNJ was on the scene Thursday for all the ribbon cuttings celebrating the grand opening of the new Bally’s Atlantic City.

Before setting the pre-summer scene, it’s important to highlight that Thursday marked the culmination of over $100 million in planned renovations.

During the festivities, PlayNJ caught up with Michael Monty, general manager of Bally’s AC, to talk about all the progress.

He used the words “super excited” when talking about the culmination of all the hard work.

“It’s really the culmination of a lot of hard work from a lot of different employees. We started this construction project last year and the goal was to get everything completed by Memorial Day weekend,” Monty said.

Basically, Thursday marked the big unveiling of all the construction projects. We’re talking renovations of all 750 hotel rooms in the Bally’s Tower along with opening the Carousel Bar and indoor portion of The Yard.

But that was only part of it.

The other part is “repositioning this property to its old glory days. We say Bally’s is back. It’s combining that message with everything we have done to the property,” Monty said.

As for how the day unfolded, keep reading for a recap.

Elevator ride to the 48th floor of the Bally’s Tower

Before Bally’s took out those oversized scissors, we took the express elevator to the 48th floor of the flagship Bally’s Tower.

Upon exiting, guests were welcomed by a violin player. Talk about serenading a successful completion. Since the rooms weren’t being occupied by hotel guests, Bally’s left the lights on and the doors open.

People walking through the corner suite, complete with fireplace, 2.5 bathrooms, master bedroom and living room, couldn’t hold back that “WOW!” reaction while touring the space.

And the views are hard to match.

However, if you are one of those fortunate guests to reserve a corner suite on the 48th floor, consider asking someone from the Bally’s team for a quick tour. There are a few different routes around the room.

As far as that “WOW!” factor goes, especially when it comes to the suite product, Monty said “we know certain types of customers like that suite product and we wanted to deliver.”

While some windows offer a direct view of the neighboring Claridge Hotel (that actually connects to Bally’s via an indoor skybridge), there are also breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Boardwalk.

“We thought our best asset here is our position in many ways – on the Boardwalk overlooking the ocean. It would be a shame for us not to prominently feature that in both the imagery that you see out of the hotel room but also the style we designed the rooms with,” said Monty.

Carousel Bar is not like riding the merry-go-round

By now you’ve probably read some PlayNJ posts regarding this new Carousel Bar at Bally’s Atlantic City. Yes, it’s the Garden State’s only 360-degree rotating bar. Don’t worry about your funnel cake espresso martini (yes the drink comes with funnel cake that guests can drop into their glass) spilling as the floor below the bar is moving.

There are no seat belts.  Plus, based on our experience during the grand opening, you barely feel the movement.

Yes, it’s similar to riding the carousel at a Jersey Shore pier, just slower. Plus the seats are incredibly comfortable, and if you time the visit right, the place will be hopping.

During busier times like Memorial Day weekend, grabbing one of those 24 bar seats might be a challenge. The good news is it’s open 24/7 and truly is the welcoming new addition to the redesigned Bally’s hotel lobby.

Whether arriving via the self-park garage, casino floor or valet entrance, you can’t miss it.

The Yard reaches halfway mark at Bally’s Atlantic City

When arriving at Bally’s Atlantic City via the Boardwalk, it’s hard not to notice The Yard. Plus the construction equipment makes it a little more obvious right now.

Fourth of July weekend is the target date for the outdoor portion, complete with a retractable roof.

However, the indoor section is where the second of three ribbon-cutting ceremonies took place. Lunch included lite bites like bacon cheeseburger sliders and pizza paired with the Bally’s exclusive pale ale from South Jersey-based Spellbound Brewing.

Just like over Memorial Day weekend, there was live entertainment.

If you go this weekend, the back wall is serving as a temporary backdrop. Once the outdoor portion is complete, it will be coming down to create picturesque views of the AC Boardwalk.

As an added bonus, the air hockey table, Space Invaders and other games are fully operational.

Basically, from our first impressions, once the courtyard section is finished, we have little doubt The Yard will be a popular year-round dining/entertainment destination. And because of its prime location, we expect the place will quickly attract non-Bally’s Atlantic City customers as well.

Butler service right to your beach chair

Bally’s Beach Bar, more specifically Bally’s Legend’s VIP Beach was the final stop of Thursday’s tour. The day did not include butlers serving food or passing around warm towels. However, butler service is available for Bally’s most exclusive guests (Bally’s Rewards Legends members).

Prior to the day’s final ribbon-cutting, Paul Juliano, senior vice president of operations for Bally’s Corp., provided invited guests with a little preview of this seasonal amenity.

He described it as “five-star butler service for Bally’s top customers.”

“This is Legend’s Beach where guests will have personalized service, towel service, special water and a personal butler at everyone’s beck and call. So this experience is elevated. This brings a little bit of high class,” Juliano said.  

Think of it as a South Florida vibe at the Jersey Shore.

“We want travelers to come from far and wide to experience everything that Bally’s Beach Bar has to offer,” Juliano said. 

However, the non-Bally’s Legend’s guests can still enjoy Bally’s Beach Bar. For those wondering about the food menu, it’s going to be much different this summer. 

Bally’s announced Thursday that all of the Beach Bar food will be from Water Dog (one of the restaurants on Bally’s sixth floor). In a matter of weeks, guests will have the option of ordering from the Water Dog food truck and enjoying it from their beach chair.

Bally’s Atlantic City is ready to be competitive

Those who follow the Atlantic City news on PlayNJ are well aware Bally’s is one of several Atlantic City casinos introducing something new this summer.

Earlier this week, Ocean Casino Resort provided updates as to when the property will unveil $85 million in developments. Like Bally’s, new hotel rooms are a key component.

On the opposite end of the Boardwalk, Tropicana Atlantic City has eight new concepts opening throughout the year.

And at neighboring Caesars Atlantic City, which connects to Bally’s, there are new hotel rooms along with the highly anticipated East Coast debut of Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen.

After spending over $100 million in renovations, Bally’s is in much better shape to compete in the highly competitive Atlantic City market.

“This property was underinvested in previously, so this is why we started with the hotel product,” Monty said. “We knew to be competitive in the market would require us to have a better hotel product. I’ll take our Bally’s Tower against all the other hotels, even the newly renovated hotel rooms.” 

Why visiting Bally’s Atlantic City is a summer must-do

Nobody is going to argue how far Bally’s Atlantic City has come since Bally’s Corp. (formerly Twin River Worldwide Holdings) took over the property. For a brief Atlantic City history lesson, Bally’s Park Place welcomed its first guests on Dec. 29, 1979.

However,  go up to any member of the Bally’s executive team, longtime employee or loyal casino players, and they’ll probably say the same thing – Bally’s Atlantic City was a neglected property. Besides creating a negative image, it consistently showed with the monthly Atlantic City casino revenue results.

Besides investing over $100 million, Bally’s is portraying a fresh new image these days. Go on your social media platform of choice, and you’ll see #ballysisback lighting up your feed.

Visiting Bally’s AC at Park Place and the Boardwalk is a must-do for the summer of 2022.

And Monty is welcoming new, old and returning visitors to judge for themselves.

“You need to see everything we’ve done. We have a lot of wow type productions here from the hotel lobby to The Yard to the hotel rooms themselves to  changes on the gaming floor,” Monty said.  

“You need to come check us out to see everything that we’ve done. I could describe it but you’ve got to see it.”  

Photo by Bill Gelman
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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman has been reporting on the NJ gambling market since 2018, right around when the Garden State launched sports betting. Bill transitioned from lead writer for PlayNJ and NJ Gambling Sites to his current role as managing editor in 2020. Besides offering in-depth analysis on NJ gambling market trends and news, Bill regularly sits down with Atlantic City casino industry executives to offer readers exclusive interviews and comprehensive coverage. Bill received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ithaca College. He has contributed to other Catena Media sites including The Lines, Legal Sports Report, PlayPennsylvania and PlayCanada.

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