Archive: November, 2008
Atlantic City's gaming community is no doubt reeling from today's unexpected news that Borgata President and CEO Larry Mullin is headed to Australia.
Mullin, a former Trump exec who joined the Borgata organization before it opened in 2003, is headed Down Under to assume the reins of Tabcorp which, as the owner of four "Oz" gambling dens, is that nation's largest casino operator. His resignation is effective Jan. 5.
As the guiding hand at the Big B since 2004, Mullin is universally admired and respected as the first among equals on the top tier of AyCee's casino industry leaders. He has proven himself as not only a savvy casino head, but as a "lifestyle" trendsetter, especially in the realm of contemporary music. More than anyone else, it has been Mullin who has made Atlantic City a rock music capital, bringing to town David Bowie, The Who, Prince, Van Halen, The Killers, Kid Rock and The Eagles and many other artists who before Borgata, dismissed A.C. as an "elephant's graveyard" for entertainers.
If you were in Atlantic City the past couple of days, you might have been tempted to wonder about all the lamentation and bitter weeping among casino industry types.
Thanks to the annual convention of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities--the annual gathering of Garden State politios, bureacrats, lobbyists and others who have a vested interest in the day-to-day business of local government--the town was partying like it was 2006. Monday night--before the annual confab officially began, The Quarter at Tropicana was humming with activity and traffic. According to Paul Sandler, general manager of The Palm outlet there, his pricey restaurant was totally sold-out Tuesday and Wednesday.
And Wednesday night at Borgata, Bobby Flay Steak, whose price points make The Palm look like a diner, was likewise jumping.
Fans of ABC-TV's inexplicably popular "Dancing With the Stars" may want to watch tonight's installment at Borgata's Music Box.
That's because Joey Fatone, who is a former contestant on the dance-competition series, is hosting an exclusive viewing party. Doors open at 7. Several prizes will be raffled, including a Wii game system (complete with "Dancing With the Stars" DVD) and tickets to the "DWTS" performance scheduled for Philly in February. After the broadcast, Fatone will move on over to the mur.mur disco where he'll emcee for DJs Jay-E and Deception.
The bad news is that admission to the event is restricted to My Borgata card holders. The good news is that if you want to attend and don't have a card, you can apply for one at the My Borgata Center, then head on over to the box office to purchase your tickets.
Spend any time at all with those who populate Atlantic City's gambling industry, and the sense that the sky is falling is unavoidable. But more objective eyes may question this assessment.
Obviously things are, financially speaking, the worst they've ever been in the 30 years of legal casino gaming in Atlantic City. And the results are tragic, with thousands of workers unemployed already, and more, sadly on the way. But let's take a look at the October numbers released today by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission:
It was fitting the skies over Atlantic City wept Thursday. It was bad--make that very bad--day.
Borgata—the gold standard of the town’s gambling and hospitality industry—got things off to a crummy start by announcing a five-percent workforce cut (400 jobs). Then, just to make a lousy day even worse, Pinnacle Entertainment all but admitted it's plans to build a glittering palace on the site of the old Sands hotel-casino.
After more than 40 years, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey can still kick it out with the best of them.
The two rock gods--and remaining original members of The Who--turned in a typically killer show Friday night at Borgata's Event Center, mostly concentrating on the material that has made the British band one of the most revered and beloved of all time.
With the exception of a few songs from "Endless Wire," the band's most recent collection of new material (from 2006), the group stuck to a greatest-hits format--a strategy that certainly didn't disappoint anyone in the rabid, sold-out crowd.