Gambling

Hard Rock Atlantic City Pleads for Beach Repairs

Posted on: March 15, 2024, 12:53h. 

Last updated on: March 14, 2024, 02:02h.

Hard Rock Atlantic City revealed this week it likely won’t be able to open its Beach Bar this summer because of significant erosion incurred over the winter months along the Boardwalk’s northern end.

Hard Rock Atlantic City beach erosion
Hard Rock Atlantic City’s Beach Bar might not open in 2024 because of beach erosion. Hard Rock officials are asking the federal government to work quickly to repair the beach. (Image: NJ.com)

Mike Sampson, general manager of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, told local officials that the resort’s Beach Bar suffered extreme damage during the offseason. Photos of the Beach Bar show the venue dismantled and in need of much repair.

Sampson says the restoration project is presently impossible due to beach erosion.

There has been a tremendous amount of beach erosion from winter storms. We lost the Beach Bar completely and are removing debris,” Sampson told City Hall during a Clean & Safe Atlantic City committee meeting.

The Beach Bar offered rentable beachfront cabanas and cocktail service for guests aged 21 and older.

Clock Ticking

Hard Rock’s Beach Bar is nestled in between the Boardwalk’s Steel Pier and Resorts’ Landshark Bar. Sampson says Resorts and the Steel Pier are also “concerned” about the beach this summer.

Beach erosion restoration projects are typically handled by the US Army Corps of Engineers. City officials said the Army is prepping rehabilitation plans but no timeline for the project is available.

Sampson said time is critical, as Atlantic City’s busiest time of the year — traditionally June through August — is fast approaching.

If we don’t get some action taken very quickly this looks like this is going to be a post-summer project and we will not be able to resume the same type of beach operations that we had in the past,” Sampson said.

The Clean & Safe initiative is designed the improve the city’s tourism industry through law enforcement partnerships, technology enhancements, and quality-of-life initiatives to attract talent to the area.

Hard Rock neighbor Ocean Casino Resort last year took the beach into its own hands by spending several million dollars to bring dump trucks filled with almost 13K tons of sand to its beach. Ocean General Manager Bill Callahan said he can’t expect people to come to his luxury beachfront hotel and not offer a beach.

Homeless Assistance

Part of the Clean & Safe program involves ridding homeless people from the Tourism District by connecting them with social services, and when possible, reuniting those individuals with their family members or other support networks. Sampson told the committee this week that panhandling remains a major problem around town.

“They are in the same spots, people holding signs, running out to wash windows,” the Hard Rock boss said. “I fear for what that first entry looks like for a visitor, especially a new visitor. It doesn’t set a good tone.”

The Seminole Tribe, which owns Hard Rock International, acquired the then-shuttered Trump Taj Mahal Boardwalk casino in 2017 from billionaire Carl Icahn for $50 million. Hard Rock spent more than $500 million transforming the resort into its rock ‘n’ roll theme.

Hard Rock officials have been critical of the Atlantic City government. Hard Rock International Chair Jim Allen scolded town leadership in 2020 when he visited to hand out bonuses and came across numerous burnt-out street lights.

“Frankly, the town’s in worse shape today than it was when we bought the building,” Allen said. “You’re in a resort environment where safety and security are so important. If the city can’t get something fixed as simple as the street lighting, then maybe a change is needed.”


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