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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: February, 2012

POSTED: Friday, February 24, 2012, 2:30 AM

Atlantic City’s casinos may still be struggling to compete with their competition at the slot machines and gaming tables, but the spring entertainment roster suggests the town remains the show biz Beast of the East.

A slew of major bookings have been set, led by Borgata’s June 19 date with Sting. Other A-listers headed to the Big B include: Counting Crows (April 28); comedian-actor Russell Brand (May 4 and 5); The Brian Wilson-led Beach Boys' 50th anniversary tour (May 19); Steve Winwood (May 25) and Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (June 8 and 9).

But, as they say on all those TV commercials, wait, there’s more. For instance, we are happy to report the return to Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City of the always wonderfully entertaining (or is that entertainingly wonderful?) Penn & Teller (May 18). Also set for the bayside gaming hall is country icon Merle Haggard (April 21).

Chuck Darrow @ 2:30 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, February 20, 2012, 1:51 PM

Chuck Darrow of the Philadelphia Daily News and Suzette Parmley of The Inquirer will chat on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 11 a.m., about the latest news in the local casino industry. On a mobile phone? Click here.


Chuck Darrow @ 1:51 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, February 17, 2012, 11:37 AM

Atlantic City’s “new burlesque” scene will take a large bump-and-grind forward this spring with the opening of Ivan Kane’s Royal Jelly Burlesque Nightclub inside Revel.

Kane is the West Coast nightlife impresario who pretty much created the “new burlesque” movement in the last decade with his successful (albeit noe-shuttered) Forty Deuce clubs in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. He promised Royal Jelly will take such entertainment—which emphasizes super-sexy young female dancers in provocative attire—to levels heretofore unseen in AyCee.

“We’ll do shows two or three times a night. The shows are 25 minutes,” said Kane at a Wednesday night media bash thrown by Revel in Manhattan that was primarily a showcase for the mega-resort’s roster of restaurateurs including Philly-based Jose Garces and Mark Forgione, both of whom have been “Iron Chef” winners.

Chuck Darrow @ 11:37 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 1:15 PM

Valley Forge Casino Resort will officially open March 31. 

That's the word from officials of the mini-gambling den that is part of the sprawling Valley Forge Convention Center complex in King of Prussia.

According to a press release, the gaming hall-which as the holder of a category 3" state gaming licence, can have a maximum of 600 slot machine/video terminals and 50 table games--will open after two days of state-mandated play-money casino tests scheduled for  March 27 and 29.

Chuck Darrow @ 1:15 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, February 10, 2012, 12:39 PM

Atlantic City casinos’ regional A-list headliner monopoly will be put to rest May 16, the day the Event Center at Sands Casino- Resort in Bethlehem opens with a concert by alt-rockers Incubus. The unit’s date is one of four announced Friday morning. The others are country star Alan Jackson (May 19), Irish rock band Flogging Molly (May 24) and longtime AyCee regular Paul Anka (May 27). More bookings will be announced in the weeks ahead, according to Geoff Gordon, president of Live Nation Philadelphia, the local branch of the national concert-promotion behemoth that also handles booking at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s Event Center and Music Box.

The Sands Event Center is designed as a multi-use facility with such programs as conventions, trade shows and family shows expected to be part of the mix along with performances by big-name acts. The state-of-the-art facility’s single-level seating area will accommodate 2,250 people for seated shows and 3,500 for standing-room-only concerts. According to Jeffrey Trainor of Vision Entertainment Group LLC, one of the partners in the Event Center project, the farthest seats in the house—located in seven second-floor luxury boxes—are just 137 seats from the stage. “All seats are good seats,” bragged Trainor.

A unique aspect of the building is Vision Bar, the 12,000-square-foot nightclub that will serve as the hall’s entrance. According to Trainor, the bar will be open hours before a performance as well as for post-show partying. Those without concert tickets will still be able to be part of the scene there (cover charges will be in effect on weekends).

Chuck Darrow @ 12:39 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, February 10, 2012, 12:39 PM

Atlantic City casinos’ regional A-list headliner monopoly will be put to rest May 16, the day the Event Center at Sands Casino- Resort in Bethlehem opens with a concert by alt-rockers Incubus. The unit’s date is one of four announced Friday morning. The others are country star Alan Jackson (May 19), Irish rock band Flogging Molly (May 24) and longtime AyCee regular Paul Anka (May 27). More bookings will be announced in the weeks ahead, according to Geoff Gordon, president of Live Nation Philadelphia, the local branch of the national concert-promotion behemoth that also handles booking at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s Event Center and Music Box.

The Sands Event Center is designed as a multi-use facility with such programs as conventions, trade shows and family shows expected to be part of the mix along with performances by big-name acts. The state-of-the-art facility’s single-level seating area will accommodate 2,250 people for seated shows and 3,500 for standing-room-only concerts. According to Jeffrey Trainor of Vision Entertainment Group LLC, one of the partners in the Event Center project, the farthest seats in the house—located in seven second-floor luxury boxes—are just 137 seats from the stage. “All seats are good seats,” bragged Trainor.

A unique aspect of the building is Vision Bar, the 12,000-square-foot nightclub that will serve as the hall’s entrance. According to Trainor, the bar will be open hours before a performance as well as for post-show partying. Those without concert tickets will still be able to be part of the scene there (cover charges will be in effect on weekends).

Chuck Darrow @ 12:39 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, February 9, 2012, 3:10 PM
Blog Image
Revel will begin its eight-week preview period April 2. Photo: revelresorts.com

Visitors to Atlantic City’s soon-to open Revel mega-resort will experience a work-in-progress rather than a fully realized operation, according to its CEO.

Kevin DeSanctis, who has overseen the creation of the $2.4 billion pleasure dome since the project was conceived in the middle of the last decade, explained during a media conference call Thursday afternoon that the casino-hotel complex’s planned eight-week “preview” period that commences April 2 is necessary to work out as many bugs as possible leading up to the May 25 grand opening and beyond.

“Having [opened other casinos in the past], my experience has been that the worst possible thing you can do is open everything at once with one big splash,” said DeSanctis, a veteran gaming industry executive who once ran Atlantic City’s Trump Plaza.

Chuck Darrow @ 3:10 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, February 9, 2012, 10:32 AM

The public will get its first glimpse of Revel on April 2, the day the $2.4 billion mega-resort opens its doors for a two-month preview.

According to a press release issued this morning, all of the ultra-luxe property's 1,800 rooms will be open on that date, along with seven of its 14 restaurants. The remaining seven eateries, as well as nightclubs, retail outlets and spa facilities, will be up and running by the grand opening, which is set for May 25.

The hotel will begin accepting room reservations March 5 at www.revelresorts.com.

Chuck Darrow @ 10:32 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog
Philly native Chuck Darrow has literally covered Atlantic City’s casino scene since Day One: He was there on assignment the night in November 1976 when voters approved legalized casinos.

Since then, Chuck has covered the town and its gaming industry for several area newspapers -- which is why, in some circles, he’s known as “Boardwalk Charlie.”

You can reach Chuck at darrowc@phillynews.com. Reach Chuck at darrowc@phillynews.com.

Chuck Darrow