Take a walk along Atlantic City’s famous Boardwalk, and you can’t help but notice the Bally’s Casino Atlantic City. Since opening in 1979, this 1,750-room complex has become one of the largest and most famous casinos in the United States.
The hotel’s history dates back to the start of Atlantic City’s relationship with gambling, and over the years has established itself as one of the city’s most iconic casinos.
The Blenheim building especially was considered to be one of Atlantic City’s most iconic structures, having been constructed during 1902-06. Indeed, Palley himself was successful in getting it listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Palley’s plans had been to preserve the Blenheim and the adjacent Dennis, while demolishing the Marlborough to make way for a modern hotel.
Controversially though, Palley sold the hotel to the Bally Manufacturing group a mere tend day’s later. As one of the leading manufacturers of slot machines, Bally was already active in the casino sector. And its plans were to established a major new hotel-casino called the Bally’s Park Place Casino and Hotel.
Unfortunately, this new vision left little room for nostalgia. The Dennis Hotel ultimately would be retained and renovated to accommodate new casino’s guests. But the Blenheim and the Marlborough were demolished in 1978, despite protests, to make way for the new casino.
The Bally’s Park Place Casino and Hotel opened on December 29, 1979. Over the years to come, the hotel would expand and extend to become the one of the biggest hotels in the area. In 1989, the Garden Tower was added, boosting capacity by 750 rooms. The nearby Claridge Tower was then incorporated into the complex in 2003. At present, the Bally’s has four hotel towers.
In 2000, the hotel was renamed as the Bally’s Atlantic City.
The project also managed to cause controversy in the Bally boardroom. As part of the licensing procedure and an inquiry into links with the mafia, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission stipulated that the CEO of Bally's, William O' Donnell, would be obliged to resign and sell all shares in the company. This was the second time that the Committee had taken such a decision. The first was when Clifford Perlman, the President of Caesars World Inc. and his brother were forced to hand in their resignations.
Naturally, its principle attraction is the gambling. In total, the Bally’s casinos offer a total gaming are of almost 21,000m² (Around 225,000 sq ft). Unsurprisingly, given Bally’s history, slots figure heavily. In total, over 5,000 slot machines are available.
Nor is Bally’s, strictly speaking, one casino. Alongside its main casino, it also incorporates the Claridge Casino, after it and its hotel were incorporated into the Bally’s Atlantic City in 2003. Another notable casino located on the premises is the Wild Wild West Casino, which combines gambling with a wild west theme. This ranges from a stunning animated mountain scene, to bathrooms styled to look like abandoned mines.
Nor is it just in the rooms where you can relax. The hotel features two indoor pools, a spa and a salon. The hotel itself also features 14 boutiques, and is located close to the Pier Shops mall. The hotel also features a 550-seat theatre.
Likewise, for those who aren’t simply there for leisure purposes, it also boasts 7.400m² of conference hall space.
It also features two bars. The Lobby Bar is the more laid back of the two, billed as the perfect place to “unwind, meet up with friends and business associates”, and offers live lounge entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. The Blue Martini cocktail bar is rather more lively, featuring live bands and DJs on Fridays and Saturdays, along with Latin nights on a Monday.
For those with a passion for popular music, the Bally’s Legends in Concert events are well worth a look. These run all year ‘round, and feature tribute acts of some of the world’s greatest performers from the world of jazz, rock and pop.
For more information, including how to book your stay at the hotel, please visit the official Bally's Atlantic City casino website.