Hard Rock has actually scrapped plans for a new casino hotel in Atlantic City, resigning the day the development team encountered a due date for a $ 1 million payment to the state for the venture.
“Hard Rock International has decided not to move forward with an application for a potential hotel-casino development in Atlantic City, due to current market conditions,” the business stated in a report Wednesday. “We have been evaluating Atlantic City as a prospective location for a hotel-casino development and have not eliminated this location for a future endeavor.”
Wednesday was the due date for Hard Rock’s designers to pay a $ 1 million state application charge and submit construction timetables for a venture that had previously been postponed for months. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission had actually been waiting on word from the AC Gateway LLC development team, an alliance between Hard Rock International and the New York-based financial firm Och-Ziff Capital Management.
The commission’s chairman, Matthew Levinson, revealed hope that Hard Rock would reevaluate its choice and return to Atlantic City when market conditions get better.
“As we move forward in remaking Atlantic City into a full-scale destination, the market will rebound here and that will rekindle interest in developing innovative new resort properties here,” Levinson remarked in a statement.
Levinson informed The Press of Atlantic City that yet another option is that other developers may currently intervene to take the place of Hard Rock.
“It gives people who may want to invest in Atlantic City another opportunity to come in,” he pointed out. “We’ll work with anyone who is interested. We’ll also work with AC Gateway if they’re still interested. Hard Rock still sees us as a potential investment opportunity. Hopefully, we’ll see a Hard Rock sooner or later.”
In March, the commission gave Hard Rock’s designers a six-month extension– until Wednesday– to make the $ 1 million payment, in addition to provide a schedule for beginning and completing the project.
The application charge would have been refundable if Hard Rock satisfied the development timetable. The most recent plans required Hard Rock to begin construction by Jan. 11, 2013, and complete the first phase of the job by Jan. 15, 2015, commission representatives stated.
Previously this year, Hard Rock officials explained they were coming across hold-ups in protecting a New Jersey ecological permit for building of the beachfront venture and needed more time.
Hard Rock had suggested constructing the very first of two smaller-scale casinos authorized for the Boardwalk under an aviator program managed by the Casino Control Commission. Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation in 2011 permitting those jobs to have as few as 200 resort areas, compared with Atlantic City’s previous minimum of 500 rooms for casino construction.
Mayor Lorenzo Langford stated he wasn’t shocked by Hard Rock’s choice, with the unsatisfactory economic climate. Neither was state Sen. Jim Whelan, that was the writer of the legislation which permitted smaller casino ventures.
“It’s just disappointing, but not surprising, given the market conditions here in Atlantic City and the overall national economy,” pointed out Whelan, D-Atlantic. “It says the market isn’t there right now to support the development of any new casinos, whether it’s a small casino or a larger casino.”
Rather, Whelan stated what is occurring in Atlantic City has even more to do with possible casino sales and development of new partnerships with existing residential properties. As an example, the Margaritaville brand had by singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett is partnering with Resorts Casino Hotel for a new $ 35 million beachfront dining establishment and bar.
Hard Rock was seen as the greatest hope for the following new casino in the declining Atlantic City market. Gambling income has been on the decrease since peaking at $ 5.2 billion in 2006, driven down by the slow-moving economic situation and competition from casinos in surrounding states. Income from slots and table games was up to $ 3.3 billion in 2011 and is down an added 5 percent up until now this year.
Smaller casinos are viewed as a way to aid in restoring the market by swiftly bringing new jobs and construction to the city, while making it easier and cheaper for developers to construct.
No additional developers have actually stepped forward yet to construct the second smaller-scale project as part of the “boutique casino” pilot program. Levinson rejected that Hard Rock’s decision exemplified a significant problem for Atlantic City.
“While AC Gateway and Hard Rock are not prepared to proceed at this time, the commission will entertain any future requests from AC Gateway, Hard Rock or any other interested parties seeking participation in the pilot program,” he stated. “We are committed to taking the steps necessary– whether it is through boutique casinos or any other efforts– to build a stronger and more vibrant Atlantic City.”
Hard Rock’s designers had claimed they might begin with 200 hotel rooms, yet would certainly include a 2nd stage including an added 650 rooms. The project was advanced at the foot of the Route 40 entrance, on the southern end of the Boardwalk. Hard Rock had actually estimated the expense of the very first phase at $ 465 million, yet never ever revealed the price tag for the whole job.
Hard Rock, one of the top companies in the casino and entertainment industry, had meant to utilize its rock-and-roll theme in the Atlantic City venture. The casino resort would have featured an exhibition stocked with souvenirs from Hard Rock’s considerable rock-and-roll collection.
Hard Rock additionally had emphasized the beach in the project’s style. It was expected to have featured a Hard Rock Cafe overlooking the ocean, along with an outdoor swimming pool on the beach. Fire pits, a picnic and live entertainment would have enhanced the beach-flavored event landscape.
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