Ocean Casino Resort Rebuilding Atlantic City Beach

Posted on: May 15, 2023, 11:09h. 

Last updated on: May 15, 2023, 05:18h.

Ocean Casino Resort, located on the northern end of the Atlantic City Boardwalk, is spending $700K to rebuild the beach in front of the $2.5 billion property.

Ocean Casino Resort Atlantic City beach
A dump truck unloads sand outside Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City. Casino officials say erosion has significantly reduced the beach on the northern end of the Boardwalk. (Image: AP)

The Associated Press reported on Friday that the casino isn’t waiting for the state or federal government to repair the beach, as is typically the case when shorelines erode. Instead, the resort is taking matters into its own hands by paying to rehabilitate the beach.

Ocean Casino Resort General Manager Bill Callahan says the property has contracted with a private company based in nearby Eagleswood Township to bring truckloads of sand to the beach outside the resort. Callahan told the AP that 12,810 tons of sand are being transported to the beach, dumped, and then smoothed.

You can’t have a resort without a beach,” Callahan said. “That would be a horrible guest experience. It’s like, ‘Come to an unbelievable $2.5 billion resort and not have a beach.’ We just couldn’t have that.”

The sand brought in mimics the size and color of the natural sand of the Atlantic City beach. Ocean started the project after receiving the go-ahead from the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Casino Improvements

New York-based hedge fund Luxor Capital has owned Ocean Casino Resort since the former owner, the late Bruce Deifik, fell into bankruptcy operating the resort in 2019. In 2021, Luxor agreed to sell 50% of the property to Ilitch Holdings, the parent company of Little Caesars Pizza and Detroit’s MotorCity Casino Hotel, for $175 million.

Much of that money has since been used to update the integrated resort that opened as Revel in April 2012, only to close a little more than two years later in September 2014.

Ocean is currently amid an $85 million improvement that will complete the 12 remaining unfinished floors. The casino is also seeking permission to build a helipad atop its parking garage.

Along with the interior renovations, Ocean wants to ensure adequate beach space for its guests. The northern end of the Boardwalk has long been most prone to erosion on the resort corridor.

Before the beach expansion project began, Ocean officials said parts of the beach outside the resort were just five to eight feet wide.

Casino Turnaround

Ocean Casino Resort has experienced many financial hardships during its first decade in business, but since going under Luxor’s control, the property has turned around its business performance.

In 2019, Ocean’s first full year in operation under the brand, the casino generated gross gaming revenue of $215.7 million. That ranked sixth among the nine casinos in Atlantic City. In 2021, Ocean benefited from the pent-up demand stirred by the pandemic and won more than $306.8 million from gamblers. That ranked third in Atlantic City, behind only the Borgata and Hard Rock.

Last year, Ocean’s GGR improvement continued, as the casino reported an income of $356.8 million. That again ranked third.

Ocean is now profitable, too. Per filings with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Ocean’s profit last year was more than $96.2 million. That followed a profit of $91.2 million in 2021.

Ocean lost $22.3 million in 2018 before turning profitable in 2019, with its bottom line totaling about $9.3 million that year.