Atlantic City’s Borgata hotel and casino is set to undergo renovation, according to Travis Lunn, the new President and COO of the MGM Resorts property. The venue is set to revamp its hotel room offering and install new slot machines, among other changes, in an effort to retain its market leadership position.
Luun, who was appointed to the role in early January, discussed the potential new investments in conversation with Associated Press. The opportunity comes as competitors in the New Jersey market, including the successful Hard Rock and Ocean Casino Resort venues, step up their respective games, something he describes as “healthy” for Atlantic City.
“A rising tide carries all ships; I’m a believer in that,” said the Borgata President. “This destination could use some reinvestment, and so to see Hard Rock come in and reinvest, and Ocean reinvest in their product, is something I’d leverage.”
According to Lunn, plans for Borgata’s own renewal will put hotel rooms as a “clear priority”: it’s been 10 years since the casino last redid them, and the executive believes that as a market leader the venue must be “best in class” in the product. This would include featuring latest amenities inside the rooms, which is on Lunn’s “shortlist to address.”
Additionally, the COO mentioned the introduction of new gaming machines; additional table game tournaments, some linked “with sports betting events;” attracting new customers; and enticing patrons of other MGM Resorts casinos to visit the Atlantic City resort. The casino’s floor will see between 300 to 400 new machines replacing some older models.
“I already have $10 million that I intend on spending on the slot floor to update the product that we have available,” Lunn told AP. “Our guests come in looking for a certain gaming experience, and we currently don’t offer some of the products that our competitors offer.”
The executive also expects Borgata to build on the success of a recently held blackjack tournament, which Lunn describes as “well-received,” by offering more competitions going forward. He also described plans to explore partnerships with Stockton University students by educating and training them for careers in the casino and hospitality industries.
“There’s capital available for us to reinvest in our product,” the executive told the cited source, noting that being part of a major nationwide gambling company played as an advantage for Borgata. “Part of what I see my job as is to go fight for those dollars.”
Lunn was appointed as Borgata’s new boss in replacement of Melonie Johnson, who is returning to MGM National Harbor casino in Maryland as president and COO, a job she held before joining the Atlantic City business in 2020.
Prior to his current position, Travis Lunn served as the Southeast Group President and Chief Operating Officer for MGM Resorts, where he led Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi and Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica, Mississippi.
Owned and operated by MGM, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa features nearly 2,800 rooms, which makes it the largest hotel in New Jersey. It opened nearly two decades ago, in July 2003, and is the top-grossing casino in the Garden State: last year, it won over $1.1 billion from gamblers.
The casino floor offers about 4,000 slot machines, 180 table games and 50 poker tables. It also has a BetMGM Sportsbook & Bar and its Borgata Event Center, the resort’s main music venue, has a 2,400 guests capacity.