ATLANTIC CITY -- A monolithic glass structure now towers over this
seaside casino city, dominating the skyline. Set to open this
summer, the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa may also change the
landscape of the tourism industry here.
"Our opportunity is to provide a trade-up destination for the
current Atlantic City visitor and at the same time provide a
welcome and wanted opportunity for the people who have rejected the
Atlantic City product," said Borgata's CEO, Robert Boughner. "We
believe there is a substantial amount of potential business among
The Borgata is similar in appearance to the MGM Grand, the
largest hotel in Las Vegas, which towers over the Nevada skyline.
But the resemblance is more than surface. The Borgata is a joint
venture between Boyd Gaming and MGM Mirage -- and management said
its goal is to attract a more upscale market for Atlantic City, a
la Las Vegas.
"People were looking for a Las Vegas-style resort property in
Atlantic City, but they weren't finding it," Boughner said. "The
room product, the dining experience, the spa experience didn't meet
their minimum standard."
When it opens in July (the exact date has not been announced),
the Borgata will be the largest hotel in New Jersey with 2,002
rooms. It will be the first new hotel in Atlantic City in 13
$1 billion property will have 135,000 square feet of casino space,
11 restaurants, 11 retail shops, a European spa, a pool and garden,
70,000 square feet of events space, 145 gaming tables, 3,650 slot
machines and 6,300 parking spaces.
The $15 million landscaping project is designed in a style that
people have learned to associate with Las Vegas properties like the
Mirage and the Bellagio, according to Boughner.
"There is a very fanciful entranceway, for a very fanciful and
fun hotel," he said.
Although the Borgata is expansive, it was designed for easy
internal navigation, Boughner said.
"The front desk is 100 steps from the valet parking front door,"
he said. "There are 15 high-speed elevators and five service
elevators. The guest-room elevators are 70 steps from the front
desk. No guests need walk more than 100 steps from the elevator to
Rooms are designed in a contemporary European style in six
categories, from the 460-square-foot Classic rooms to the largest,
5,000-square-foot Residences, with four styles of suites in
The Borgata was designed to do a large convention and meetings
business -- and this expectation appears to be panning out, in
spite of the troubled economy.
"We've done extremely well with the meetings market," Boughner
said. "We've booked more than $16 million in [just] a few
The Borgata will open up new opportunities here for travel
agents, said Boughner.
"The travel agent community has had little involvement with
Atlantic City because [hoteliers] mainly market to their consumer
databases," he said. "We believe, given the high level of
advertising the Borgata will initiate this summer, there will be
strong interest among the consumer market, which has no loyalty to
a particular Atlantic City hotel. Accordingly, the travel agent is
very important to us."
The Borgata will launch with a $15 million multimedia campaign
in July and plug travel agents in its ads, Boughner said.
The customer care center will begin taking phone bookings at
(866) MY-BORGATA after June 1. Commission is 15%. For more
information, see www.theborgata.com.
For more details on this article, see Tasty picks at Borgata.