Hardrock and the Challenges of a New Atlantic City

Hard Rock Taj Mahal Atlantic CityThere is little doubt that the Hard Rock casino will take some casino play from the casinos still operating. But with an experienced company marketing and running the 2,000 room property, the overall market in AC will also grow.

The MGM in Springfield should have no impact on the AC market, but the Cordish Live property in Philadelphia, and a possible North Jersey casino at the Meadowlands will have a detrimental effect. We’re probably looking at 3 years before either of these projects are operational.

In the meantime, AC has to come together and make a Herculean effort to convince conventions and medium sized trade shows, that their customers can have more fun in AC, and drawing more exhibitors and attendees, than more air accessible cities, like New York and Washington.

And since the major eastern competition has commercial business demand, competing with meetings for the available rooms; AC can offer substantial savings, and still enjoy meaningful room rates, compared to what they currently offered for, 200 nights a year, mid-week in the Fall, Winter and Spring.

Prior to PA gaming, AC relied on line run buses, where the majority of it’s 14 million visitors were coming mid-week days and nights.

We’re still at a disadvantage with no incoming commercial air service; but with quality accommodations, casino gaming, entertainment and top quality restaurants everywhere; plus room rates below the $500 per night mid-week in Manhattan, we can make a major case for conventions.

Following the lead of Las Vegas.

AC receives 70% of its revenues from the casino

The Strip earns 34% of revenue from the casino.

  • The room department provides 41% of the overall earnings
  • convention department at 20%
  • food and beverage at 13%

Hard Rock, with an emphasis on entertainment, will draw a disproportionate number of new visitors, but they can’t do the job alone. Harrah’s will continue to bring group business to it’s convention facilities. Much more has to be done attracting city wide shows that will also fill our non-casino properties.

Atlanta has over 90 flights a day to Las Vegas. I feel we’re missing the boat, even though we’re the only one in the water.