How The Hard Rock Resort & On line casino Became Atlantic City’s Finest Vacation resort

It’s not each individual day that you can stroll into a glittering on line casino and catch a roof-elevating brass band in the foyer bar wowing the group, beeline by the blackjack tables to locate dueling pianos bringing friends to their feet in a buzzing cafe, and then head to a leading-top quality live performance hall for a efficiency by a famous talent—all inside one rollicking vacation resort.

But the arrival of the Really hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic Town 4 yrs ago has transformed the enjoyment video game in this storied seaside location. As legions of keen buyers return to A.C.’s casinos post-pandemic, the 17-acre home, which opened in June 2018, is setting up on its blockbuster model and galvanizing Atlantic City’s songs scene, attracting a slew of marquee acts that arguably would not have viewed as actively playing there even 5 many years ago. Previous and potential Difficult Rock headliners this year features around 25 Grammy-winning artists, together with Alicia Keys, Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart, and Ringo Starr.

Tricky Rock Atlantic Metropolis President, Joe Lupo, has lengthy performed a pivotal function in the evolution of the city’s musical presenting. A 35-yr casino market veteran, he invested much more than a few a long time with Boyd Gaming, encouraging to start Borgata Lodge Casino & Spa as vice president of operations when it debuted approximately two decades in the past. It was there that he recognized the job leading enjoyment could engage in in luring new audiences.

“With Borgata’s opening in 2003, our aim was to convey new consumers to Atlantic City, which experienced a longstanding status as a gambling town,” Lupo says. “Music—a driver for attracting all types of diversity and various segments of the population—was a good way to do that.”

Now running the proverbial display at the vacation resort after joining Really hard Rock International in 2016, Lupo—working with Michael Woodside, the property’s vice president of entertainment— is leveraging methods together with the company’s bulletproof brand equity, longstanding associations with associates like Reside Nation, and his unassailable field acumen to the two elevate and dominate the city’s musical landscape.

“We have a lot of wonderful partnerships in Atlantic Metropolis,” says Geoff Gordon, regional president, Dwell Nation Northeast. “Joe Lupo has been instrumental in assisting us create and solidify people relationships over time and grow the marketplace as a true enjoyment place.”

Just one essential asset in the property’s arsenal: the 5,500-seat Difficult Rock Stay at Etess Arena, the greatest effectiveness location of any casino in town, which in the last 12 months has hosted KISS, Guns N’ Roses, and Andrea Bocelli, between other entire world-class artists.

“It’s enabled us to host acts that usually engage in in a great deal bigger arenas and stadiums in a far more intimate setting, which persons uncover distinctive,” Lupo says.

He details to the case in point of Bocelli, the Italian operatic tenor who done on June 25 at the Etess arena for a rapt viewers that spanned the demographic spectrum. “I’m sure we experienced many new shoppers that walked in our doorway for the 1st time that night—and some who may well have arrive to Atlantic City for the to start with time,” he claims. “Having 1 of the greatest entertainers in the entire world on our phase provides that buyer out.”

In the end, Lupo describes, the concept is to grow earnings by supplying the two new and returning attendees persuasive reasons to stay and examine the resort before and immediately after the show. “We’re hoping to software the entire weekend,” he claims. “It’s a actual experience—you can have a great meal and go to the spa and the beach, as an alternative of viewing a display in Philadelphia and just heading dwelling afterward. We can showcase the assets to that new or rare customer with a great weekend, and with any luck , encourage them to arrive back.”

This technique also applies to attracting youthful audiences with acts like The Chainsmokers, who performed Tricky Rock Are living last thirty day period, and Greta Van Fleet, who will acquire the phase there for two evenings in December.

“These kinds of shows could possibly not add a ton to gaming revenue those evenings, but they’ll cultivate overnight stays—and these followers may want to return to see one more present and dine at one particular of our dining establishments,” he states.

Really hard Rock’s audio-initially ethos manifests in the resort’s “365 Live” programming determination, which usually means there is dwell tunes each working day of the calendar year. During the summer season, the on line casino hosts 25 bands for every week, with 3 phases jogging simultaneously on the weekends. That interprets to effectively around 10,000 hours of stay audio annually, according to Adam Zengel, director of entertainment functions, who also curates more than 30 playlists of overhead audio all over the property.

“It’s not usually that persons enter a on line casino dancing, as we’ve observed our shoppers do when they open the doors and listen to the music. That energy is a significant factor of our attractiveness,” says Lupo.

Not remarkably, all this revelry comes with a hefty value tag. Lupo estimates the resort’s whole enjoyment expense this year at all-around $25 million. “While some of our competition has seriously pulled back on their paying after the pandemic, we’ve increased ours to develop this exceptional setting, and it is pushed a lot of visitation,” he states.

That key-the-pump technique is paying out off. Really hard Rock Atlantic City’s very first-half 2022 profits by way of June jumped 27.8% around the prior year—the premier get of the city’s nine gambling homes. Meanwhile, its to start with-quarter working gain surged 213% in excess of past year’s Covid-racked numbers, to $26.7 million. And the property’s June revenue—up 26.6% vs. June 2021—again trounced the competition.

Heading into the tumble, Lupo is also banking on the ongoing recovery of the conference company to help push earnings. With 2,000 rooms and more than 150,000 square feet of conference and event house, the resort is keen to leverage its music-driven DNA to also entice company purchasers. “Conventions, which are midweek business enterprise, are a actual pillar of our basis right here,” he suggests. “I imagine we are thieving pretty a bit of it from other houses that don’t have the very same philosophy of protecting that midweek power.”

As for the extended-term long run, Lupo factors to Tricky Rock’s burgeoning presence across the U.S. and the globe (its venues presently span 253 spots in 68 countries) as a resource of opportunity synergies. Stateside, the hotly predicted Tricky Rock Resort New York debuted in April, followed by a resort and on line casino in Bristol, Virginia, previous month. Last December, Difficult Rock Intercontinental introduced an arrangement to purchase The Mirage Las Vegas Lodge and Casino for $1.075 billion. The organization plans to construct a guitar-formed hotel on the 80-acre internet site on the Las Vegas Strip, slated to open in 2025. Meanwhile, designs for a sprawling new resort & casino complicated in Athens were introduced in June.

On August 1, Lupo was named president of the potential Difficult Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. Seasoned casino executive, Anthony Faranca, will be successful him as president of the Tricky Rock Atlantic City, productive September 1.

“We have to generally be cognizant of our manufacturer, and lover with the definitely great functions that talk to Tricky Rock and our music orientation,” Lupo says. “You’ll see all those acts bounce from Difficult Rock to Hard Rock. That is the future evolution of our brand not only in the U.S., but all through the environment.”