ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., June 26, 2002 - MONOPOLY is coming home to Atlantic City.
Gordon Group Holdings LLC, the New York City based retail development company whose projects include The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, and Park Place Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: PPE), the world’s largest gaming company, today announced plans to transform the historic Million Dollar Pier on the Atlantic City Boardwalk into a themed retail and entertainment complex based on the best selling game board of all time. The project, inspired by MONOPOLY, represents a significant step in the effort to expand and enhance Atlantic City’s retail and entertainment attractions.
The new complex, “Park Place on the Boardwalk” - will feature an exciting collection of premier restaurants, exclusive retail shops and world-class entertainment venues built around familiar MONOPOLY game themes.
The MONOPOLY game was created nearly 70 years ago by Charles B. Darrow of Germantown, Pennsylvania, who based his real estate trading game on the well-known streets and neighborhoods of Atlantic City. Features from the game to be included in the project are Water Works, Marvin Gardens, and the classic four Railroad properties.
The Water Works Area, to be located at the end of the pier, will consist of a unique multi-level light and music show unlike anything ever presented in Atlantic City. Construction is expected to begin in early 2003, with opening set for Spring 2004. The Gordon Group has reached an agreement in principal with Hasbro, Inc. for the use of MONOPOLY game related icons and concepts for use on the pier.
Park Place Entertainment, which owns the pier along with the adjacent Caesars, Bally’s, and Claridge casinos, will lease the pier to Gordon Group Holdings, LLC for a period of 75 years. The Gordon Group will fund development of the new Monopoly-themed destination attraction at an estimated cost of $80 million. A sky bridge will be constructed from the 2nd floor of Caesars casino and span the Boardwalk into the entertainment and retail complex. The project is benefited by CRDA Legislation sponsored by Senator William Gormley to create and partially finance Urban Entertainment Retail Districts.
“We have always been drawn to develop exciting projects in unique environments. We have been excited about developing something in Atlantic City for some time, just looking for the right opportunity to do what we do best. This project fits squarely into our business model and I am confident this project will enjoy the same success as its predecessors,” said Sheldon Gordon, Chairman of Gordon Group Holdings, LLC.
“The new development at the Million Dollar Pier will be a unique entertainment and retail complex that will significantly broaden the appeal of Atlantic City as a major destination resort. When completed, the project will strengthen the Park Place’s already imposing presence at the center of the Boardwalk,” said Park Place Chief Operating Officer Wallace R. Barr. “We`re pleased to partner with the Gordon Group, which has a tremendous track record in creating one-of-a-kind retail developments.”
State and local officials applauded the new project, citing the positive message it sends to surrounding communities concerning future growth of jobs and tourism throughout the region. According to Jeffrey Vasser, Executive Director, Atlantic City Convention and Visitor’s Association, Atlantic City is the No. 1 tourist attraction on the East Coast. The seaside gaming capital is within a day`s drive for one-third of the U.S. population, including New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.
During the peak summer season, the number of visitors to South Jersey beaches and towns reaches 61 million people.
“Entertainment and retail developments such as this will continue to build Atlantic City’s reputation as a destination resort while creating jobs for our residents and economic opportunities for the entire community,” said Lorenzo Langford, mayor of Atlantic City. “The Gordon Group has been an outstanding corporate citizen in every market in which it has located. We applaud their partnership with Park Place Entertainment and welcome this project with open arms,” said Mayor Langford.
With The Forum Shops at Park Place’s Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the Gordon Group was an early pioneer of the “entertainment retail” concept. Having successfully applied this model in earlier projects, the Gordon Group will bring to the Atlantic City project the depth of knowledge, experience and relationships necessary to the success of such a major undertaking.
Each Gordon Group development is themed to tell the story of the environment, the history of its place, and to match the character of the market’s unique aspirations. The Atlantic City project will incorporate this approach, reflecting the look of Atlantic City’s past, and a vision for the future.
Just as Las Vegas was transformed by major new developments in the early 1990s, Atlantic City is poised to reinvent itself, with nearly $2 billion in new investment expected over the next two years. Projections call for 5,000 new hotel rooms and 15,000 new parking spaces to be built in this time period.
The total redevelopment of Million Dollar Pier will include locally and nationally recognized, unique retailers, restaurants and entertainment outlets. With approximately 280,000 square feet of leaseable space, the pier will be an incomparable tourist attraction for the more than 37 million people who visit Atlantic City each year. Gordon Group Holdings, LLC recognized as pioneers of the “Entertainment Retail” concept in the United States, is an award-winning developer of dynamic destination retail. Gordon Group projects bring together leaders from every field - retailers, entertainment providers, brokers, bankers, construction professionals and designers.
Park Place Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: PPE) is the world’s largest gaming company. Park Place Entertainment owns, manages or has an interest in 28 gaming properties around the world that operate under the Bally’s, Caesars, Flamingo, Grand Casinos, Hilton and Paris brands with a total of two million square feet of gaming space, more than 28,000 hotel rooms and 55,000 employees. Hasbro is a worldwide leader in children’s and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.