The historic Claridge Casino Hotel, a longtime Atlantic City landmark, today formally joined Bally`s Atlantic City as “The Claridge Tower,” creating the largest casino resort in Atlantic City. The merger was approved today by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month.
“This merger completes the final phase of the strategic plan that we put into place when we acquired the Claridge in June 2001,” said Park Place Entertainment President and Chief Executive Officer Wallace R. Barr. “By joining the Claridge with Bally`s, we`ll be able to create an even better experience for our guests as we continue our efforts to realize significant cost savings.
“In the past year and a half,” Barr added, “we have made significant physical and operational improvements to the Claridge Tower, including the installation of a re-designed, friendlier casino floor and new high-speed elevators. Those efforts have been very well received by both our guests and our associates.”
Bally`s Atlantic City President Ken Condon said, “Today, we formally welcome the employees of the Claridge into the Bally`s family as we create the largest casino resort in Atlantic City. At Bally`s, we`re committed to continuing our efforts to build an exciting and rewarding work environment for all of our employees.
“The addition of the Claridge Tower, combined with the recent renovation of Bally`s hotel lobby, the porte cochere, the Gateway connector, the Gold Room High Limit Slot Salon and the new Traymore Ballroom with its refurbished meeting facilities, caps an incredible year of transformation for our property,” Condon added.
“These improvements further enable us to provide our customers with exemplary service and a superior product.”
Bally`s parent company, Park Place Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: PPE), acquired the Claridge in June 2001. With the addition of the Claridge Tower, the new Bally`s offers its guests 1,753 hotel rooms, 21 restaurants, 6 lounges, 2 pools, 14 shops, a 550-seat theater, 3,993 parking spaces, and 17 bus bays, qualifying it as the region`s largest casino resort.
Bally`s Atlantic City casino customers can now enjoy 180,000 square feet of casino space and 42,337 square feet of simulcast casino space - for a total of 222,337 square feet - with nearly 6,200 slot machines and more than 200 table games. The casino resort also features three ballrooms and 30 meeting rooms with a total of 80,000 square feet of meeting and convention space.
The Claridge was physically connected to Bally`s Atlantic City last July with the opening of the $25 million Gateway expansion. The Gateway provides guests convenient access to casinos in both properties, as well as new shopping and dining facilities.
In addition to the building the Gateway, Park Place Entertainment has initiated other improvements to the Claridge in the past year intended to attract new customers and drive profitable revenue. Those improvements include:
Renovation of 500 hotel rooms, scheduled for completion in 2003. // Renovation and reconfiguration of the second floor casino, including new slot games, seats, service booths and carpeting.
// Installation of five new high-speed elevators and a new 12,000 square foot simulcast facility, also scheduled for completion in 2003.
// Debut of new menus for restaurants and cafes, and the addition of Sunday brunch in Luna, the Fulu noodle bar, and the new Bagel & Doughnut Connection café.
// Renovation and reopening of Lucky`s Bar and Lounge as both a private club and cash bar and lounge with live entertainment.
// Relocation of the popular “Legends in Concert” to the 550-seat Palace Theater, enabling the transformation of the Park Cabaret Theater into Bally`s popular new high limit slot salon - The Gold Room.
With this merger approved by the state`s gaming regulators, Park Place now holds three casino licenses in New Jersey for Bally`s Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City and the Atlantic City Hilton.
Park Place Entertainment owns, manages or has an interest in 27 gaming properties operating under the Caesars, Bally`s, Flamingo, Grand Casinos, Hilton and Paris brand names with a total of approximately two million square feet of gaming space, 29,000 hotel rooms and 55,000 employees worldwide.
Additional information on Park Place Entertainment can be accessed through the company`s web site at www.parkplace.com .