BY STEVE ADUBATO only in new jersey
STEVE ADUBATO, PHD, is an Emmy Award-winning anchor on Thirteen/ WNET (PBS) and NJTV (PBS) and is the author of the new book “Lessons
in Leadership.” He has appeared as a commentator on CNN, the TODAY Show, MSNBC and FOX News, as well as on 77WABC, WOR 710 and
AM970. For more information, long on to stand-deliver.com. Find Steve on Facebook /steveadubatophd and Twitter @SteveAdubato
At Last, Good News
for Atlantic City
Hard Rock Casino deal is latest development jackpot.
“We in Jersey need to stick
together.” Jingoli and Morris
saw the need for investment.
“We realized we had to do
Next thing you know, Morris was
meeting with Hard Rock chairman Jim
Allen, also a Jersey native. They agreed
that Hard Rock was the right brand for
Atlantic City. In fact, Hard Rock already
had a restaurant inside the Trump Taj
Mahal—and the Taj was on the market.
“I was the designated hitter to
make the deal with Carl Icahn to buy
the Trump Taj Mahal,” says Morris.
However, he eagerly shares the credit
for the deal. “This was a joint e;ort of
three Jersey boys—me, Joe Jingoli and
The ;;;; million deal was an-
nounced in March, along with a vision
for the city’s growth. Jingoli says the
project will mean “;,;;; union jobs
starting in June ;;;;, and then jobs for
;,;;; casino workers full-time when
the Hard Rock opens in summer ;;;;.”
The trio is already developing relation-
ships with local organizations such as
the Boys & Girls Clubs, as well as local
businesses and the building trades.
Jingoli says the time is right for a
resurgent Atlantic City. Millennials,
he points out, are looking to move back
into the cities. He says Atlantic City
is desirable thanks to its proximity to
major airports, as well as its entertain-
ment infrastructure and the e;orts of
the state to stabilize its finances.
What can we expect when the Hard
Rock Hotel and Casino opens next
summer? It will not be the “Taj Mahal
with a paint job,” says Jingoli. Rather,
it will be completely renovated with a
larger Hard Rock Café, redesigned hotel
rooms and an updated casino. “It will be
a game changer,” he says. “An entertain-
Suddenly, all those reports of an
ailing Atlantic City’s imminent demise
seem to be just a bit premature. In fact,
with just a little luck, the patient could
make a dramatic and impressive recov-
ery in the very near future.
;;;;;;;; ;;;; ;;; ;;;;; many challenges over the past decade. Casinos
have closed, thousands have lost jobs,
and late last year, the Christie administration felt compelled to take control
of the city’s finances. But lately, there’s
some good news coming out of Atlantic City. The seven remaining casinos
showed increased profits in the fourth-quarter of ;;;; and, more significantly, a
new round of development is kicking in.
The former Showboat Casino re-
opened last summer as a non-gambling
hotel, and its developer, Philadelphia-
based Bart Blatstein, recently purchased
three more Boardwalk parcels for about
;; million. Last summer, Blatstein also
launched the Playground (formerly the
Pier Shops). New Jersey-based Boraie
Development has broken ground on a
luxury apartment complex.
Stockton University is expanding its
presence in the city with a new ;;;;
million residential, beachside campus.
And a group of investors led by Hard
Rock International has purchased the
former Trump Taj Mahal from investor
Carl Icahn with plans to rebrand and
reopen the casino hotel in summer ;;;;.
Behind the Hard Rock deal are three
guys from New Jersey who saw an opportunity to get in on the ground floor
of Atlantic City’s renaissance.
Jack Morris, CEO of Piscataway-based Edgewood Properties, and Joe
Jingoli, CEO of Jingoli Construction in Lawrenceville, are longtime
friends who took a walk through the
beleaguered city one day and hatched
a vision for the future. “People sometimes don’t realize how important
A.C. is to New Jersey,” says Morris.
of the new