Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 17:35 EDT

Margaritaville Complex Revitalizes Atlantic City’s Original Casino, Resorts Casino Hotel, and Suggests a Blueprint for Gaming Destination’s Comeback

October 2, 2013

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., Oct. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — In August of 2012, Resorts Casino Hotel owner Morris Bailey turned to Mohegan Gaming Advisors (MGA) in a bid to revive the fortunes of Atlantic City’s original casino. MGA, a subsidiary of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (MTGA) which owns Mohegan Sun Casino, assumed management of Resorts and made an initial investment in the property. Together, Bailey and MGA also placed a strategic bet on Resorts’ future – gambling that an investment of more than $70 million in casino upgrades, including the addition of a $35 million Margaritaville complex, would lure new audiences to the casino. Margaritaville at Resorts Casino launched in the summer of 2013 with a ribbon-cutting presided over by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and a Jimmy Buffett concert on the beach that drew more than 50,000 fans. Right from the start of its overflow Memorial Day Weekend opening, it became clear that bets on Margaritaville and Resorts were paying off. What’s more, Resorts’ focus on Atlantic City’s beachfront heritage may offer a potential blueprint for gradual improvement elsewhere in Atlantic City.

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Margaritaville Atlantic City at Resorts Casino has emerged as the Margaritaville brand’s most successful launch to date. July and August revenue in Atlantic City was the highest for any Margaritaville location during this time period, even with the portfolio encompassing more than 20 properties in the United States, Mexico and Australia, among other destinations. Patrons at Margaritaville Atlantic City had a festive summer, consuming more than 75,000 margaritas and purchasing an additional 25,000 branded blender cups!

Results inside the casino were also positive. Overall customer visitation numbers at the casino were up 25% May through August, while property-wide restaurant patronage was up by 175,000, or 38%. The casino announced that August gaming revenues were up more than 11 % versus the prior year. The results followed gains for Resorts in July, as well, at 6.2 % versus the prior year.

“The gains at Resorts Casino are significant for Atlantic City as a whole,” said Resorts Casino Owner Morris Bailey. “We’re not trying to ‘out-Vegas’ Las Vegas,” Bailey continued. “We’re bringing the fun back to Atlantic City and focusing on the natural amenities that historically have given us a unique identity – the beautiful beach itself and the legendary boardwalk here at Resorts Casino.”

Mitchell Etess, CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, commented, “The addition of the Margaritaville brand has been an ideal fit as we position Resorts Casino to offer a playful, fun atmosphere that is appealing and inviting to new audiences. We’re so pleased to see initial results exceeding even our own expectations. “

The Margaritaville complex includes Atlantic City’s first year-round bar and restaurant located directly on the beach, the LandShark Bar & Grill, as well as a Margaritaville Cafe, Margaritaville-themed casino area, Five O’clock Somewhere bar, retail stores, and coffee shop.

The investment in Margaritaville at Resorts Casino has helped transform the property to a more complete leisure destination, matching the vision that Governor Christie and other state and local officials have established for Atlantic City itself. The successful turnaround offers confirmation that emphasizing Atlantic City’s beachfront identity as a gaming destination can pay dividends. The city’s fortunes have been closely watched as competition in nearby states has eroded a portion of its audience. Indeed, Resorts’ summer gains have come against a backdrop of declines at a number of Atlantic City casinos, with overall gaming revenues down 3.6% and 4.8% in July and August respectively. However, gains at Resorts Casino and others in the market offer opportunities for future recovery.

A focus on Atlantic City’s strength as a beachfront destination can clearly have an impact. Far from “wasting away,” as Jimmy Buffett’s famed lyrics have it, Resorts Casino and Atlantic City have new life, thanks in part to Margaritaville itself. After all, at one casino or another in this historic beachfront town, “it’s always 5 O’clock somewhere.”

About Resorts Casino Hotel

The resort that brought gaming to Atlantic City in 1978, Resorts Casino Hotel is at the top of its game today, offering world-class casino action in a relaxed environment that keeps the focus on fun. Resorts Casino Hotel made history as the first American casino outside of Nevada and celebrated its 35(th) anniversary in May 2013 with a new milestone: the opening of a $35-million Margaritaville casino and entertainment complex that includes, among other attractions, the only beach bar on the Atlantic City sand.

Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority assumed management of Resorts Casino Hotel in fall 2012 – a move that has set the stage for its return as the most exciting gaming destination in Atlantic City. Boasting a prime location spanning 11 acres at the northern end of the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk, the resort features 942 guest rooms and suites in two hotel towers, an 80,000-square-foot casino, two theaters, six restaurants, two VIP slot and table player lounges, a casino bar, indoor-outdoor swimming pool, health club and spa, salon, and retail shops. Its 39,000 square feet of sophisticated meeting space includes seven meeting rooms and a 13,000-square-foot ballroom. For more information, visit http://www.resortsac.com.

About Mohegan Gaming Advisors and The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority

Mohegan Gaming Advisors was formed in 2011 to pursue management contracts and consulting agreements for casino and entertainment properties in the United States. Mohegan Gaming Advisors is staffed with an experienced team of casino executives with a proven track record of accomplishments as operators and successful marketers and has a team dedicated solely to servicing the clients of the Gaming Advisory group. For more information, visit: http://mohegangamingadvisors.com.

The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority is an instrumentality of the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut and the owner and operator of a gaming and entertainment complex located in Uncasville, Connecticut, known as Mohegan Sun, and a gaming and entertainment facility located in Plains Township, Pennsylvania, known as Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. For more information, visit: www.mtga.com.

SOURCE Mohegan Gaming Advisors

Source: PR Newswire