This is a guest article by Darryl D. McEwen, publisher of the Seven Stars Insider.
Other than the current UNITE HERE Local 54 Union strike against Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, there’s lots of positive news about summer in Atlantic City. As Mark Twain once said, “The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
Scheduled are four concerts on the beach, the annual air show and a sports collectors convention, in addition to entertainment offerings at the city’s remaining eight casinos.
- Jimmy Buffet’s beach concert takes place Aug. 13, the Zac Brown Band performs Sept. 1, Florida Georgia Line on Sept. 3, and Blink 182 with A Day To Remember and All Time Low on Sept. 5 (Labor Day). All concerts start at 4 p.m. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
- The annual Atlantic City Air Show, “Thunder Over the Boardwalk,” takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event is free. Tip: Avoid some of the crowds and watch the show’s rehearsal the day before.
- The National Sports Collectors Convention is Aug. 3-7. For complete information, visit nsccshow.com.
All of these events could have a big impact on traffic and accommodations, so think about this when planning a visit
Here are some “insider” tips about what’s new and what’s happening this summer in Atlantic City:
Bally’s Atlantic City
- The formerly sleepy – and almost empty – Wild Wild West casino has been transformed into a haven for millennials with bands, DJs, a large dance floor, a mechanical bull, beer pong, inexpensive cocktails and beer, and $5 blackjack.
- The Boardwalk Saloon – a unique indoor/outdoor bar in the Wild Wild West – has opened, as has Guy’s (as in Guy Fieri) Bar-B-Que Joint and the AC Snack Shack (which replaced Wild Wings).
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
- A beer garden and outdoor pool is open in the location last summer occupied by Festival Park, a failed concert venue which never caught on.
- The Marketplace Eatery – a collection of “fast food” outlets (Asian Fusion, Ben & Jerry’s, Burgers & Fries, Casa Taco Express, Chop & Toss, Philly Steaks & Subs, and Pizata: Pizza & Pasta) – replaces The Cafeteria, one level below the casino with an entrance next to Atlantic City’s only Racebook.
- Play Super Sky Wheel, the bonus game associated with the Money Rain slot machine, currently having its world premier, and exclusive to Borgata through early August. It’s located around the corner from the Gypsy Bar between The Metropolitan and Noodles Of the World.
- Dance the night away (and early morning) at the new Premier Nightclub (formerly MIXX).
- Every Thursday through Oct. 30 a new production of The Burlesque Show entertains guests in The Music Box.
Caesars Atlantic City
- The Back Room at Nero’s Italian Steakhouse is open only Fridays and Saturdays, but you’ll find some of the best Italian food in the city, prepared by Chef Maurizio DiMarco, previously chef at Arturo’s, Bally’s former “gourmet” Italian restaurant that’s now closed. It’s not cheap – and the wine list could use a few less expensive options, but you won’t regret blowing your budget here.
- Win up to 50 spins on a $500 denomination slot machine plus up to $10,000 in cash. Earn entries into Cleopatra’s $250,000 Celebration of Jackpots through July 30. Drawings will take place from 1 to 9 p.m. July 30 in the Palace Court.
Golden Nugget Atlantic City
- Earn entries daily through Sept. 4 to win a 2016 Tesla Model S. Five other finalists at the Grand Finale event that day will walk away with $1,000 in free play.
- Every Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. one winner will be selected every 30 minutes for a chance to win an automatic entry in the Grand Finale, cash or free play, multiple times entries for that day, or a gas card.
- Win your share of $250,000 in free play and cash Sept. 10. Earn entries into Harrah’s $250,000 Summer of Jackpots through 8 p.m. Sept. 10, but they must be activated between 11 a.m. and 8:45 p.m. Sept. 10. Drawings will take place hourly between 1 and 9 p.m. in the Diamond Cove.
Resorts Casino Hotel
- On Mondays through Sept. 5 from 2 and 10 p.m. two winners every hour will enter the Cash Dash Money Machine and grab as much slot cash as they can.
- Every Tuesday through Aug. 30 there are slot tournaments from 2 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. Winners share $5,000 in cash and prizes each week.
- Every Thursday through Aug. 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Bar One race rubber ducks to win gift certificates and show tickets. (There are similar races at Hard Rock Café on Wednesdays from 2 to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 5 to 8 p.m. at Steel Pier’s Ocean Reef Bar.) Finals will be held Aug. 20, with the grand finale Aug. 27.
- Every Friday through Sept. 2 from 2 to 10 p.m. play Explosions of Cash Zoom Ball to win slot play or $100,000 in cash.
- A $1 Million Beachball Bounce offers the chance to win $1 million daily through Sept. 24. Additional prizes and cash will be awarded, as well. Play free one time each day and play a second time after earning five tier points.
Tropicana Atlantic City
- On the main casino floor a new High Limit Slots room has opened with its own cashier, concierge services and private restrooms.
- The only Atlantic City casino that has this game, Shaq Jack – named after NBA Champion Shaquille O’Neal – offers the action of a live blackjack game with actual cards and a live dealer, played from an individual gaming terminal. Each game is a live, real-time game of 21, but players go up against the dealer only. Players see the hand being dealt on their screens and all the standard betting options – splitting, doubling down and insurance – are available. Play Shaq Jack in The Quarter and the Poker Room.
- Nightlife guru Ivan Kane has debuted his latest venue, Kiss Kiss a Go-Go.
- Rooms in the Havana Tower have been completely renovated.
- A new Corner Market offers the convenience of, well, uh, a convenience store inside Tropicana, but also is accessible from Pacific Avenue.
- The new Luxe Salon replaces the old Tropicana Salon and is located around the corner from the front desk, next to a new VIP check-in area.
- The family-friendly “Magique: Remixed” plays through Sept. 9 in the Tropicana Showroom. The show features large-scale illusions, close-up magic and elaborately, but modestly, costumed dancing showgirls.
- Five new free Multimedia Sound & Light Shows on the Boardwalk are on view from 8:30 to 11 p.m. nightly through Sept. 10, followed on Saturdays by fireworks at 10 p.m.
- Earn five chances to win Tropicana’s $1 Million Big Spin Lotto every day through Sept. 18. Six Big Spin Lotto numbers will be chosen each day and announced every two hours between 1 and 9 p.m. in Palm Walk. Additional 11 p.m. announcements will be made on Fridays and Saturdays. Players who match all six numbers win $10,000 instantly plus a free spin on the Big Wheel for a shot at the $1 million top prize. Those matching fewer numbers will win between $25 and $1,000 in free play, in addition to a spin on the wheel.
Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort
- Nik Wallenda’s Zircus performs through Sept. 2 in the Mark G. Etess Arena. Described as a “thrilling variety show starring celebrated wire walker Nik Wallenda and an international troupe of circus performers,” the show combines “suspense, amazement and laughter.” Each show closes with a re-creation of the seven-person pyramid made famous by the Wallenda family.
- Select the winning ticket and win $1 million. Through Sept. 18 Trump One cardholders have five chances daily, with an additional drawing on Fridays and Saturdays. If you don’t win the million, other prizes include from $25 to $1,000 in slot play.
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Recreational gambler Darryl D. McEwen is publisher of the Seven Stars Insider – both the website (www.SevenStarsInsider.com) and the monthly newsletter. For a free subscription to the newsletter, join the mailing list at Seven Stars Insider and tell him how you heard about it. You also can download the newsletter from the website where he frequently updates news about Caesars Entertainment and Total Rewards under “Latest News” on the home page. In addition, be sure to follow @7StarsInsider on Twitter.
Darryl also writes a bi-weekly column, Mr. AC Casino, for the Atlantic City Weekly. A former professional journalist, based in Wilmington, Delaware, Darryl is president of his own consulting firm that manages several small national and international trade associations, and provides public relations and fundraising services for a number of charitable organizations.