Late last month, Hard Rock International applied for various permits from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), a process which indicated Hard Rock’s $500 million renovation of the Taj Mahal should be completed next spring. The casino’s owners would like it to open Memorial Day Weekend 2018, the Press of Atlantic City reported.
CRDA Chairman Robert Mulcahy told the local paper the CRDA is looking forward to the project’s completion.
From famous to failure to famous again
When the Trump Taj Mahal opened in 1991, Donald Trump declared it the Eighth Wonder of the World.
The NJ casino had its ups and downs for the next two decades, settling federal money laundering charges in 2015. The property reached unprecedented depths when it was one of four properties to close during Atlantic City’s infamous 2014 casino contraction.
Faith in a resurrection was supposedly fulfilled when billionaire Carl Icahn bought the casino out of bankruptcy. Icahn is also the owner of the Tropicana. However, Icahn wasn’t able to manage a workforce that refused to settle for Spartan benefits resulting from the bankruptcy.
The casino closed in October 2016 after a three-month labor strike, bringing an odious end to the Indian-themed behemoth. The final, symbolic blow came earlier this year when city residents heckled a truck driver who was hauling away some of the Taj’s trademark lettering.
However, the Taj managed to show enough potential to earn trust – and half a billion dollars – from Hard Rock International.
Hard Rock’s plans for the New Jersey casino
Not only did Hard Rock’s acquisition of the property signal a new movement in the casino’s life, but it also marked a decisive turn for Atlantic City.
The purchase of the Taj, along with the state settling a massive Borgata tax refund, signaled an era of growth after more than two years of financial misery.
Earlier this year, Hard Rock released plans for the Taj. They included a complete renovation of all the property’s guest rooms, an overhaul of the building’s facade, a redesigned porte cochére (vehicle turnaround), and the incorporation of Hard Rock’s signature rock-and-roll theme.
According to the Press of Atlantic City, the construction project will generate 1,000 temporary jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs.