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Upping the Ante

The Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa raises the croupier's stick for luxury gaming resorts in Atlantic City

August 01, 2003 |

Located off the Boardwalk at Renaissance Point on what was once landfill, the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa hopes to usher in a new era of luxury accommodations for Atlantic City gaming.

In July, the resort became the first new hotel-casino to open in Atlantic City in 13 years. The $1.1 billion, 4 million-sq.-ft. property is owned by a 50-50 joint venture of Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming Corp. and MGM Mirage. It was designed by Bower Lewis Thrower, in association with Cope Linder Architects, both of Philadelphia, with Dougall Design Associates, Pasadena, Calif., as interior architect. Yates/Tishman, a joint venture of Philadelphia-based Yates Construction Co. and New York-based Tishman Construction Co., was the CM.

Emulating classic Italian style, the resort encompasses 2,002 guest rooms, a 70,000-sq.-ft. conference center, 11 retail shops, 11 restaurants, a 1,000-seat theater, five bars, and a nightclub, with parking for 7,100-vehicles. A 50,000-sq.-ft. spa features a salon, fitness center, and barber shop.

"We're bringing a new level of sophistication and amenities that Atlantic City has never seen before," says Bob Boughner, Borgata CEO. The 43-story hotel — the largest hotel and tallest building in New Jersey — reflects many of the trends taking place in Las Vegas and Native American casinos.

Its lobby area is more like what might be seen in a private hotel, with the exception of the slot machines. The property emphasizes the kinds of accoutrements found in Las Vegas's luxury mega resorts.

The resort is sparking other Atlantic City hotels, such as the Tropicana, Caesar's Palace, and Bally's, to renovate and expand their properties. In addition, the Pier, an $80 million mixed-use retail/entertainment waterfront complex, is scheduled to open in 2005.

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