Hard Rock unveils plans for Atlantic City casino-hotel

Hard Rock International confirmed Wednesday that it has completed its acquisition of the former Taj Mahal building in Atlantic City, N.J. and has since shifted its attention toward the redevelopment of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Renovation efforts are now set to get underway, with the company planning to spend $375 million ahead of the resort's opening in summer 2018.

Hard Rock will partner with New Jersey-based developers Joe Jingoli and Jack Morris and has already hired nearly two dozen employees since the transaction was completed last month. The company expects to generate 1,000 jobs during the construction phase and another 3,000 permanent positions once the property is up and running.

While the finished product is still well over a year away, Hard Rock shed some light on what future guests can expect to find at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.

As far as gaming is concerned, visitors will have no shortage of options with the casino set to feature 2,400 slot machines and 130 table games. The property will also have a redesigned interior and multiple food and beverage outlets that Hard Rock described as being "first-class."

Meanwhile, the Hard Rock Cafe Atlantic City will move to a new central location within the casino hotel, where highlights will include seating for up to 400, beach access and an improved stage. The hotel will also offer two arenas featuring a combined 7,000-plus seats for live music, sporting events, conferences and shows.

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"From world-renowned music events to innovative dining concepts, we're excited to bring the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino experience to the Atlantic City boardwalk—which has been home to our Hard Rock Cafe for more than 20 years," Hard Rock chairman Jim Allen said in a statement accompanying Wednesday's announcement.

"Our commitment to Atlantic City has never been stronger and we look forward to being a catalyst for further growth and development of the area."

Hard Rock said that hotel guests can anticipate a brand new experience at check-in, including a reimagined lobby lounge. Guestrooms, suites and meeting rooms will also be redesigned, with the latter being altered to accommodate both large and small groups.

Wall displays throughout the property will pay tribute to local musicians and artists. For musically inclined guests, Hard Rock's Sound of Your Stay program will allow them to check out a Fender guitar to jam out with from the comfort of their room.

The hotel will also be home to a full-service spa.

Although Atlantic City is already home to more than half of a dozen casinos, the city has struggled of late as casinos in neighboring states have lured away some customers. The hope is that the new Hard Rock casino-hotel can help draw in a new crowd rather than simply pull guests from Atlantic City's existing casinos.

"Atlantic City, no doubt, has had some challenging times," Allen told the Press of Atlantic City. "I think that it’s very important to understand that it’s still the second-biggest gaming market in the United States."

"With the Hard Rock brand and its ability to attract 100 million people on an annual basis we are very confident that we can grow the market. I can assure you our marketing plans are not just to take the customers from the existing properties," he added.

According to the Press of Atlantic City, the destination's casino industry generated more than $3.6 billion in revenue last year, down from $3.7 billion in 2015.