The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel’s closing in January 2014 sparked a chain reaction of resorts closing in the New Jersey beachfront gaming town. Three additional Atlantic City casinos closed that same year — Showboat, Revel, and Trump Plaza — and the Trump Taj Mahal shuttered two years later in October 2016.
Almost nine years since the final guests exited the Boardwalk casino, a new future is emerging for the Atlantic Club.
NJ Advance Media reported today that the property’s current owner, Rocco Sebastiani and his New York real estate investment firm, Colosseo Development Group, Inc., wants to overhaul the former casino hotel into a luxury condominium complex. Specifics of the project are to be revealed next month, Sebastiani said.
The current condition of the building’s interior is unknown. But the exterior has been cited for numerous safety violations in recent years.
In the fall of 2017, the ceiling of the Atlantic Club’s porte-cochere collapsed. And the following spring, sections of the hotel’s exterior crumbled and fell to the Boardwalk below, jeopardizing pedestrian safety and raising alarms about the structure’s overall condition.
Atlantic Club Past
Envisioned and built by Steve Wynn, the Atlantic Club opened in 1980 as the Golden Club. It quickly became a Rat Pack hangout, with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. among the casino’s early regulars.
After Wynn grew tired of New Jersey politics and decided to exit the Atlantic City gaming scene, his Mirage Resorts sold the Atlantic Club to Bally Manufacturing in 1987, and the casino was rebranded Bally’s Grand.
The casino was again renamed in 1996, this time to Atlantic City Hilton, after Bally Manufacturing sold the resort to Hilton Hotels. The property became ACH Casino Resort after Hilton terminated its licensing agreement with Colony Capital, which acquired Atlantic City Hilton in 2005 from Hilton Hotels.
As business slowed in Atlantic City as gaming expanded into numerous states up and down the East Coast, the casino fell on difficult times. In 2012, the casino was rebranded once more to Atlantic Club in what was an effort to make the resort a locals-focused casino.
The casino officially closed its doors on Jan. 13, 2014. The former Caesars Entertainment and now-defunct Tropicana Entertainment jointly acquired the Atlantic Club and its assets in bankruptcy for just $23.4 million. Tropicana bought the casino’s slot machines, table games, and player database, while Caesars retained the physical property.
Caesars in May 2014 sold the Atlantic Club to a Florida real estate firm called TJM Properties for $13.5 million. TJM held on to the vacant asset until it found a buyer in Colosseo in 2019. The sale price was not disclosed publicly.
Atlantic Club Future
The former Atlantic Club has been targeted for an array of projects over the years. An indoor waterpark from an interested buyer was floated in 2017 to no avail, and Stockton University in 2018 considered buying the hotel to expand its Atlantic City campus.
The odds regarding the likelihood of the luxury condo concept coming to realization are vague. But a clearer outlook will likely emerge once Colosseo details its vision next month.
“We are looking forward to working in Atlantic City, and restoring such a great property,” Sebastiani commented during his 2019 purchase of the closed casino.
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