Saturday, September 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Harrah's Atlantic City eyes $134M convention hall

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Caesars Entertainment plans to build a $134 million conference center on the grounds of Harrah's Resort Atlantic City to help bring in more meeting and convention business to a market that says it desperately needs it.

But some worry that the facility could hurt the existing Atlantic City Convention Center.

Caesars unveiled the proposal during Tuesday's meeting of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

"The most important thing we need is something to drive mid-week business," Don Marrandino, eastern division president for Caesars Entertainment, told The Press of Atlantic City (http://bit.ly/RCsrBa). "We don't have anything near what this will be. We're not looking for trade shows and things like that. This would be a business center."

But Robert Griffin, CEO of the two Trump casinos, tells The Press of Atlantic City the convention center fears the project would be duplicating what is already here. He emphasized that he does not oppose the proposal, however.

"Absolutely it's a game-changer," he said at the meeting. "My question is: Is it a game-changer for the better or not? You said this doesn't exist here today. I beg to differ with you on that. I think just the opposite."

Edward Gant, a board member of the casino reinvestment board, agreed.

"It sure looks like a convention center," he said.

The facility could break ground in January and be finished by July 2014.

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Information from: The Press of Atlantic City (N.J.), http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com

The Associated Press
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