Bally’s to get new name New owner plans rebrand - Sunday 12th of June 2005
When they coined the term "identity crisis," they must have been thinking about Bally's Atlantic City.
Where else can you find a stately, red-brick building, a Victorian-era hotel, a Wild West-like fantasyland and a modern, glass-skinned tower all melded within the same casino complex?
This rambling, gambling den covering four city blocks in the heart of the world-famous Boardwalk is going to be renamed by a new owner that hopes to tie together its disparate themes into one coherent brand.
Harrah's Entertainment Inc. revealed Tuesday that it will dump the Bally's moniker in Atlantic City and Las Vegas in favor of another brand name that has more cachet. The new name has not yet been determined.
Gary Loveman, chairman and chief executive officer of Harrah's, said a recent survey of about 15,000 gaming customers found that the Bally's name really doesn't resonate with gamblers.
"I think it's likely that it is not a brand or a name that we will continue to support to any great degree moving forward," Loveman said. "So we're looking for opportunities to rebrand Bally's in Atlantic City and rebrand Bally's in Las Vegas as part of an effort to revitalize those businesses and make something even better than what they have there currently."
The Bally's name switch is among a litany of changes expected to follow Harrah's $9 billion takeover of Caesars Entertainment Inc. in the world's biggest casino merger. In Atlantic City, Harrah's Entertainment will add the Caesars and Bally's properties to a portfolio that already includes the Harrah's and Showboat casinos.
Caesars, the upscale, Roman-themed casino, will keep its name under Harrah's ownership. Speculation is mounting that Harrah's may rebrand Bally's as a Rio or Horseshoe casino. Rio is an all-suites property known for its edgy nightlife, while Horseshoe is more of an old-fashioned gambling parlor famous for its high-stakes betting.
Once known as Bally's Park Place, the casino was renamed Bally's Atlantic City in March 2001. The sprawling complex includes the Victorian-era Dennis Hotel, the red-brick Claridge Hotel from the 1920s, the glass-covered Bally's hotel tower and the cowboy-themed Wild Wild West Casino.
Despite the pending name change, Ken Condon will remain Bally's president and there is expected to be little or no impact on the casino's nearly 7,000 employees, Harrah's officials said.
The addition of Bally's and Caesars will give Harrah's a huge presence in the center of the Boardwalk casino district. Altogether, the four Atlantic City properties now under the Harrah's banner will control about 40 percent of the town's net gaming revenue, casino space and hotel rooms.
In wide-ranging remarks, Loveman discussed the ramifications of the merger during a press conference Tuesday carried over the Internet. Harrah's completed the Caesars deal on Monday.
Focusing on Atlantic City, Loveman said Harrah's Entertainment hopes to revitalize the Boardwalk in the same way that Harrah's and its next door neighbor, the billion-dollar Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, have invigorated the Marina District.
"It is a very dynamic time in the Marina area, with the Borgata doing spectacularly well and Harrah's Atlantic City doing well," he said. "But we think there will be dynamism as well in the center of the Boardwalk with Bally's and Caesars."
Harrah's is studying the longterm viability of Caesars and Bally's, including possible expansion plans that could include new hotel rooms and retail-entertainment attractions.
"Our Atlantic City leadership team is currently hard at work figuring out what would be the right set of capital improvements to bring to that area," Loveman said of the Boardwalk casinos. "We think the future there will be bright and equally exciting with what you will find in the Marina."
Other news from around the same time
California tribal casinos earn most in U.S - Sunday 12th of June 2005
The nation's 405 Indian casinos generated about $19 billion in gross revenues last year, a 12 percen....
Governor reaches casino deals with two tribes - Sunday 12th of June 2005
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced agreements Thursday to allow two of California's largest Indian....
Singapore delays request for casino proposals - Sunday 12th of June 2005
Singapore needs more time to review the feedback from bidders to operate the city-state's first two ....
MGM Mirage finalizes deal to develop, manage N.Y. casino - Sunday 12th of June 2005
MGM Mirage said it has signed a definitive agreement to develop and manage a $170 million casino at ....
Machine makers vie for slots in Macau gambling boom - Sunday 12th of June 2005
Slot machine makers are jostling to hit the jackpot in Macau, where the world's fastest growing casi....
Late-night casino plan is rejected - Sunday 12th of June 2005
Oldbury residents have won their battle to stop a Casino being created at a bingo hall in their stre....
Betting On Some Winners - Sunday 12th of June 2005
Event organizers of the World Series of Poker, now under way and owned and operated by Harrah's Ente....
Indian casinos rake in $19 billion last year - Sunday 12th of June 2005
The 405 Indian-owned casinos in the United States won $19 billion last year from gamblers -- $8.5 bi....
Game over: Moscow to be relieved of casinos and gambling clubs - Sunday 12th of June 2005
There are 56 casinos and 63,000 slot machines in Moscow now The gambling business is flourishing in ....
CITY POISED TO ALLOW THE FIRST CASINOS FOR 20 YEARS - Sunday 12th of June 2005
Aberdeen's first new casino licences in two decades could be granted next week. The separate applica....