Known as the resort that brought gaming to Atlantic City in 1978, Resorts Casino Hotel, a Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment Property since 2012, is still thriving today. Resorts Casino Hotel made history as the first American casino outside of Nevada, and boasts a prime location spanning 11 acres at the northern end of the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk. The resort features 942 guest rooms and suites in two hotel towers, an 80,000-square-foot casino, two theaters, 10 restaurants, a food court featuring five eateries, two VIP slot and table player lounges, a casino bar, indoor-outdoor swimming pool, health club and spa, salon and retail shops.
President and CEO of Resorts Casino Hotel, Mark Giannantonio, took some time to discuss the property’s 40 year milestone and future prospects with Casino Journal Associate Editor Joan Mantini. Below are his edited responses.
What actions helped Resorts thrive as the Eastern U.S. casino market went through expansion and increased competition?
GIANNANTONIO: The purchase of Resorts Casino Hotel by Atlantic City native Morris Bailey was an integral step in making Resorts thrive in the market. Morris is committed to the long-term viability of Resorts and to Atlantic City.
Additionally, in 2012, Morris Bailey formed a strategic partnership with the top casino operator Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment. Mohegan’s management expertise coupled with their world-renowned reputation has proven to be significant in positioning the Resorts as a leader in Atlantic City and on the East Coast.
Since 2012, we have implemented a $100 million capital plan that has completely transformed the property and our offerings. When you couple the investment with the finest service in Atlantic City, this has solidified our future for the next 40 years as a world-class destination.
Over the past five years, Resorts has undergone a number of renovations and additions. Please describe them and the reasons why they were undertaken. How have they helped Resorts in the Atlantic City and Eastern U.S. marketplaces?
GIANNANTONIO: Over the past five years, Resorts has completed more than $100 million in renovations to reposition and transform the property into a vibrant destination with offerings beyond casino gaming. With these renovations, Resorts has become a thriving all-encompassing resort casino, increasing consumer offerings and making improvements to the property overall, drawing both new and return visitors and making it a go-to destination in Atlantic City.
Major expansion milestones include:
- Two new VIP player clubs that opened in 2013. These two exclusives lounges offer a sophisticated, sleek retreat for club members, with a menu that changes daily, large selection of beverages and multiple TV screens.
- The $35 million Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville and LandShark Bar & Grill Entertainment Complex, which opened in May 2013.
- The July 2014 opening of Quickbites Food Court.
- A first-of-its-kind iGaming Lounge solely dedicated to the online gaming experience, which launched in April 2015.
- A completely remodeled casino floor that included the addition of 800 new slot machines.
- A $5 million conference center, which opened in August 2015, adding 12,000 square feet of meeting and event space to Resorts, featuring state-of-the-art technology with 90-inch LED 1080P monitors in every conference room and the ability for up to 500 meeting attendees to wirelessly connect simultaneously.
- The $25 million room renovation project of the Ocean Tower featuring new bathrooms, furniture, windows and beautiful décor throughout.
In honor is its 40-year anniversary, what promotions does Resorts Casino Hotel have in place?
GIANNANTONIO: We had many exciting promotions and offerings this summer to celebrate our 40th anniversary, including:
- 40th Anniversary Chips & Star Cards—$5 and $25 chips were available for purchase all summer long at the table games and 40th Anniversary Star Card was available at the Promotions Booth.
- Bar One Throwback Thursdays—Every Thursday, between May 31 and August 30, Resorts welcomed guests to Bar One from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for “Throwback Thursdays” with a throwback themed cocktail menu of Brandy, Alexander, Grasshopper, Tom Collins and Harvey Walbangers.
- New Members Promotions—New members who signed up for a Resorts Star Card earned up to 3x comps and 3x cashback. Plus, new members received a complimentary 40th anniversary commemorative tote bag.
- 40th Anniversary Commemorative T-Shirts—On Wednesdays, through August 29, Star Card members could earn one tier point on the day of the event to receive a commemorative 40th anniversary t-shirt.
- 40 Winners Every 40 Minutes—On June 30, July 28 and August 25, 40 names were called every 40 minutes for a chance to win $100 in slot cash.
With new players coming to Atlantic City, what marketing strategies does Resorts Casino Hotel plan to incorporate to add these newcomers to its customer/player base?
GIANNANTONIO: We look forward to welcoming our peers to the Atlantic City boardwalk and are eager to see the increased traffic to the north part of town. We had a new member offer this summer to attract the new clientele. New members who signed up for a Star Card received 3x comps, 3x cashback and a 40th anniversary commemorative tote bag.
Additionally, we hosted free shows on the beach at LandShark Bar & Grill, including 1980s tribute band Rubix Cube, disco group Boogie Wonder Band, Eagles tribute band 7 Bridges and Billy Joel tribute band Big Shot.
What expectations should visitors to the property expect from the brand going forward?
GIANNANTONIO: When visitors come to Resorts they can always expect first-class service. Our friendly atmosphere and authentic attention to detail provide guests with a “home away from home” feeling from the moment they arrive. Our noteworthy 40th anniversary milestone is just another reminder why we continue to reinvest into the property and partner with world-class brands to offer the best experiences in gaming and entertainment.
Visitors of Atlantic City flock to our boutique-like hotel for an elevated level of service and excitement along with innate attention to detail only Resorts can provide after 40 years in the hospitality and gaming business. Additionally, with our beautiful beach at LandShark Bar & Grill and award-winning gourmet dining from the likes of Capriccio and Gallagher’s Steakhouse, we pledge to be the market leader in service and quality for many years to come.