Bally's Atlantic City
|Bally's Atlantic City|
View of Bally's from the beach
|Location||Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401|
|Address||1900 Pacific Ave|
|Opening date||December 29, 1979|
|Number of rooms||1,753|
|Total gaming space||225,756 sq ft (20,973.4 m2)|
|Signature attractions||Palace Theater
Sammy Hagar's Beach Bar
|Notable restaurants||The Reserve
Taste of the Shore
|Previous names||Bally's Park Place|
|Renovated in||1983, 1994, 2005, 2009|
Bally's Atlantic City is a hotel and casino on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey that opened in 1979. The Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel stood on the site before the casino was built. It is famous for its address of "Park Place and the Boardwalk", two locations popularized by the board game Monopoly. Bally's is one of the largest hotels on the boardwalk with nearly 2,000 rooms. Its Dennis Tower opened in 1921. In 1997, The Wild Wild West Casino was opened as an expansion of Bally's.
Bally's Park Place (1979-2000)
In 1977, Reese Palley and local attorney and businessman Martin Blatt bought the Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel and planned to preserve the Blenheim half of the hotel, along with adjacent Dennis Hotel for his Park Place Casino. Palley was successful in getting the Blenheim part of the hotel placed on the National Register of Historic Buildings, while planning to raze the Marlborough to make way for a new modern hotel. However, he stepped aside after Bally Manufacturing purchased a controlling interest in the project. After Bally took control, it announced plans to raze the Marlborough, Blenheim, and the adjacent Dennis Hotel, despite protests, to make way for the new "Bally's Park Place Casino and Hotel". However, in an effort to offset costs and open the casino as soon as possible, the Dennis Hotel was retained to serve as the temporary hotel for Bally's until a new tower could be built.
In November 1978, Bally's demolished the Marlborough-Blenheim and quickly cleared the land to begin building the Bally's Park Place Casino. On December 30, 1979, the casino opened with the newly renovated Dennis serving as its hotel. In 1989, Bally's constructed a 750-room hotel tower in a modern style, with an exterior of light pink glass. On July 2, 1997, The Wild Wild West Casino at Bally's opened as the second casino at Bally's.
In 2000, Bally's Park Place changed its name and became Bally's Atlantic City. The adjacent Claridge Hotel and Casino was purchased and incorporated into Bally's in 2003, and was renamed the Claridge Tower. The boardwalk side of Bally's was renovated in 2009. The facade of the Dennis Tower was refurbished and a row of shops between the Dennis Hotel and the boardwalk was demolished, which opened the plaza of the Dennis Tower to the boardwalk.
In 2012, Bally's entered a contract with the Legends in Concert production company to provide new entertainment options. The changes are headlined by the renovation of the former Palace Theater into the "Legends in Concert Theater", to feature new seating, booths, and cocktail tables. Other additions include “Dealer-tainer” themed gaming pit, in which dealers on the casino floor don costumes of celebrities including Elvis Presley, The Blues Brothers, Madonna and Lady Gaga. Some of the costumed dealers take turns impersonating and performing as the celebrities on a stage in the middle of the gaming pit. This usually occurred only on high volume days, mostly around the weekends.
Bally's Atlantic City participates along with other Caesars Entertainment properties in the "Total Rewards" loyalty program for their players, guests, and other customers. Rewards are based on casino play, food/beverage/retail/hotel room/entertainment purchases, and other factors. There are four tiers of membership, increasing in status: Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Seven Star.
The two casinos at Bally's have over 220,000 sq ft (20,000 m2). of gaming space with over 5000 slot machines, Keno, and many table games, among other features. Recent developments include games which combine the features of live table games with those of slot machines: The multi-player Roulette automatically spins the ball, but the bet and payout function is mostly handle by computerized video terminals for each player. Also, in the Wild Wild West area, a video recorded "blackjack dealer" on a big TV screen "deals" as the player bet on a video terminal which shows their "cards" in a multi-player game. As provided by local and state law, there scattered areas where smoking is permitted, totaling 25% of the official gaming space. (Aside from this exception, smoking is banned by law throughout the rest of the casino and hotel). Under New Jersey law, persons under 21 years of age are not permitted to gamble. They may only pass through the main aisles of the casino when accompanied by someone over 21 years old to cross between hotel areas and exits, and may not stop or slow down to observe the games.
Wild Wild West Casino
Opened on July 2, 1997 as an expansion of Bally's Atlantic City, it was extensively themed to the American Old West, with waterfalls, faux gold mines and a running stream. It was notable for being one of the only fully themed casinos on the East Coast. The exterior featured a facade made to resemble an old western town, while the inside featured a large mountain and other western town facades. The western theme has been toned down in favor of a party atmosphere in order to attract a younger demographic.
The Wild Wild West Casino contains a sports bar, the Mountain Bar. Also offered are beer pong tournaments, a mechanical bull, and a 24-hour happy hour.
Renovations to the Wild Wild West Casino began in June 2012 and were completed on February 21, 2014. The Virginia City Buffet was closed and the casino floor area was reduced in size; for a period of time in 2012, all live table games and most slot machines were removed. Table games returned to the casino with the completion of renovations, occupying the newly renovated back area. A World Series of Poker-branded poker room allows simultaneous live and online play. A new stage for live entertainment was also part of the renovations.
Further renovations occurred in 2015 and 2016. The large rock formation/waterfall near the main boardwalk entrance was removed along with the animatronic gold miner; this space now features a large area for bands to perform, as well as some live table games. The only slot machines besides those in Coyote Kate's Slot Parlor are located near the new stage. The area between the stage and the far back poker rooms remains vacant but plans may still be in the works for more to be added.
On President's Day Weekend 2016, Bally's opened the new Boardwalk Saloon. The bar offers ceiling to floor windows with views of the boardwalk and beach. It also features an entrance with accordion folding glass doors which can remain open for access to outdoor seating on the Boardwalk. It replaced the Rita's and the North entrance to the casino.
The Ridge casino, stylized as theRIDGE, was a casino in the Claridge Tower. The casino was renovated in 2008 from a standard casino floor to an upscale lounge-casino. However, in 2012, The Ridge closed its gambling and food amenities. The tower's 500 hotel rooms were used for Bally's guests until it was sold in 2013 to be reopened as the independent Claridge Hotel.
- The Corner Cafe (in the "Gateway" area, adjacent to the Claridge Hotel)
- Buca di Beppo (6th Level)
- Guy Fieri's Chophouse (6th Level)
- Harry's Oyster Bar and Grill (Dennis Tower at Boardwalk level)
- Johnny Rockets (Boardwalk area)
- Noodle Village (main casino area)
- The Diamond Club (6th level, "Total Rewards" members of "Diamond" tier and above only)
- Guy's Bar-B-Que Joint (Boardwalk end of the Wild Wild West Casino, Guy Fieri's brand)
- AC Snack Shack (Wild Wild West Casino)
Taste of the Shore
Taste of the Shore is a food court in the "Gateway" area between the hotel lobby and the Claridge Hotel. It consists of:
- Walt's Original Primo Pizza
- Sack O' Subs
- Corner Café
Bally's proper does not have an all-you-can-eat buffet, but promotes the "Palace Court Buffet" on the 3rd level of its sister property Caesars Atlantic City, with which it shares an indoor connection. Complimentary buffets issued by Bally's Atlantic City are honored at Caesars Atlantic City.
Bally's Atlantic City contains the Spa at Bally's featuring an indoor heated swimming pool, six hot tubs, two saunas, basketball and racquetball courts, a gym, the Bellezza salon, and a large outdoor deck with views of the ocean all located on the 8th level. The 6th level contains ballroom space and several meeting rooms. On the same level is a business center with computer/office machine access, and a Starbucks vending machine.
There are a few stores in the complex:
- Picks n' Wicks (hotel lobby)
- Studio (Gateway)
- Park Place Jewelers (hotel lobby)
- The Gift Shop (hotel lobby)
- The Spa Pro Shop (8th level)
- a credit card operated Best Buy vending machine (Gateway)
Bars, lounges, and nightclubs
- L-Bar (The Lobby Bar)
- The Blue Martini (main casino area)
- Harry's Oyster Bar (Dennis Tower at Boardwalk Level)
- The bar/lounge at Guy Fieri's Chophouse (6th Level)
- The bar at the Diamond Club (6th level, "Total Rewards" members of "Diamond" tier and above only)
Bally's has three hotel towers. Bally's Tower is the largest and is the main tower. It was opened in 1990 after a long construction phase. This is the premier tower at Bally's, it features some of the nicest rooms like the penthouse and executive suites. The foundation for this tower, as well as a 2nd tower (yet to be constructed) was built in the initial construction phase of the Casino, executive offices and restaurant building on the site of the demolished Marlboro-Blenheim Hotels. Dennis Tower was built in 1921 and was the original hotel at Bally's. Garden Tower was built in the mid 1980s and is located on top of the bus center/Valet parking garage. Originally built as the "Garden Rooms". They were the first totally new hotel rooms in the complex. This is technically a low-rise building built atop the parking structure.
- Bally's Las Vegas
- Caesars Entertainment
- Gambling in New Jersey
- List of tallest buildings in Atlantic City
- "Bally's - Atlantic City Review by Casino City". Ballysatlanticcity.casinocity.com. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
- Wittkowski, Donald (11 Apr 2012). "Bally's to give Atlantic City customers a Hollywood vibe with dealers who entertain". The Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved 11 Apr 2012.
- "Bally's Atlantic City Hotel and Casino - Official". Ballysac.com. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
- "Say goodbye to some Atlantic City buffets; casinos courting more upscale clientele - Press of Atlantic City: Atlantic City | Pleasantville | Brigantine". Press of Atlantic City. 2012-06-01. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
- Bogdan, Jennifer (20 February 2014). "Bally's unveils improvements to Wild Wild West gambling floor". Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- "Fla. firm buys Claridge Hotel from Bally's in Atlantic City". NJ.com. 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
- Main Website
- Casino Connections - Castle in the Sand by David G. Schwartz[dead link]
- Stephen Piccolo's Gaming in Atlantic City.... A History of Legalized Gambling in New Jersey
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