When Caesars Entertainment and Eldorado Resorts merged last year, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission (CCC) signed off on the union. But it added one very big stipulation. The new entity must invest $400 million into its three Atlantic City casinos over a three-year period.
Caesars today announced details of that massive spend.
The Las Vegas-based casino giant says phase one will include a $170 million renovation of guestrooms and suites at Caesars and Harrah’s. The properties will open their refreshed rooms this summer.
“We are excited to introduce the new Caesars Entertainment to Atlantic City through our $400 million investment and development plan,” said Anthony Carano, president, and chief operating officer of Caesars Entertainment.
The $170 million makeover will begin with approximately 600 guestrooms at Caesars’ Centurion and Ocean Towers, as well as Harrah’s Atrium Tower.
A company statement revealed that the Caesars rooms will feature a modern Roman aesthetic paired with Atlantic City scenery, including the beach, ocean, and Boardwalk. The design inspiration for the room overhaul at Harrah’s will be drawn from water elements representing the casino’s location in the Marina District.
Caesars Entertainment said it will release additional details on how it plans to spend the remaining $230 million required under its CCC merger approval at a later date. But New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) liked what he heard regarding the first investment phase.
Along with Caesars and Harrah’s, Caesars Entertainment operates Tropicana on the Boardwalk. Each of the three casinos are owned by VICI Properties, Caesars’ real estate investment trust (REIT). Caesars pays VICI annual rent to lease all operations inside the casino properties.
Long Overdue AC Makeover
During the previous Caesars’ financial problems, which led to its bankruptcy filing in 2015, the casino company invested little in Atlantic City. As a result, its casinos became dated and run-down.
“We know that Atlantic City and New Jersey have had some difficulties with a lack of investment from Caesars, and we understand why the conditions are there. We are absolutely committed to agreeing to the requirement,” Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg told the CCC last year.
Along with investing $400 million, part of the CCC’s approval of the Eldorado takeover of Caesars included the combined entity selling off one of its Atlantic City casinos to ease monopoly concerns. The company sold Bally’s to Twin River Worldwide Holdings in Rhode Island last year for just $25 million. Twin River subsequently changed its company identity to the Bally’s Corporation.