Resorts Atlantic City to adopt ‘Boardwalk Empire’ theme

ATLANTIC CITY America’s oldest casino beyond Nevada is turning back the clock in a bid to regain relevance.

The 942-key Resorts Atlantic City, which is being acquired for US$35 million by gaming veteran Dennis Gomes and developer Morris Bailey, plans to adopt a Prohibition Era theme to capitalize on the instant popularity of the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire.”

Gomes tells The Associated Press that dealers, cocktail servers, bellhops and others will dress in 1920s-period costumes, and that music played and drinks served in the casino will be inspired by Atlantic City’s mobster days. The property itself has some genuine ties to the era—although Resorts opened in 1978, its main building was built in the 1920s and the decor is already faithful to the period.

“It was fun, adventurous and exciting, a period in time where people simply let loose to give way to a lifestyle where entertainment was king,” Gomes says of the Prohibition Era. “Resorts will be all of that. It will define and shape the direction Atlantic City needs to take to survive in an increasingly competitive market. It will be luxurious, it will be fun and it will be one of the leading entertainment spots in Atlantic City.”

Gomes estimates it will cost US$1 million to outfit employees in period dress.

Gomes Gaming Inc. has an agreement in place with RAC Atlantic City Holdings LLC to purchase the hotel-casino, subject to approval by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.

Gomes is perhaps most famous for his stint with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, when his investigations into Las Vegas mob ties formed the basis for the 1995 Oscar-nominated film, “Casino.”  He also worked for the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, overseeing the original licensing process for Resorts Casino Hotel back in the 1970s. He has an extensive career on the management side of the gaming industry as well, having worked as a manger or CEO for 14 gaming properties, including Tropicana Casino and Resort and Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.

Promotional poster for HBO series "Boardwalk Empire," which provides the basis for Resorts Atlantic City's new theme
Promotional poster for HBO series “Boardwalk Empire,” which provides the basis for Resorts Atlantic City’s new theme