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Goodbye Atlantic Club, 12/29

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by hammie, Jan 1, 2014.

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  1. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    After hosting 32 for Christmas, and then having 8 folks over for dinner last Saturday night, my wife and I made a last minute decision to head to AC for a quick overnight trip last Sunday. We decided to use up a comp at the Atlantic Club which is closing on January 13th.

    This property was recently put into bankruptcy and then auctioned over two days as there were no suitable bids on the first day. Caesars will get the property including an 800 room hotel for $15 million and Tropicana will get the gaming tables, slots and player database for a little over $8 million. Over the past year, the Atlantic Club was reinventing itself as a locals casino with free parking, $9.99 buffets (often free with minimal play) and other low cost dining options. There were some new slots installed and new carpeting in several areas and the owners were reporting improved results, but not fast enough. Despite being one of the highest grossing properties in the 1980's when Steve Wynn developed it as the Golden Nugget, and with Sinatra performing several times a year, only then to be valued at $540 million in 2005, the smallest casino in NJ will close its doors. Then again, competition is what makes this country great and sends the weak to the abboittoir. Unfortunately, there are unpaid creditors and 800 employees out on the street.

    Our first stop was to Showboat, a place we've not been for at least 5 years. I was surprised at how old many of the slot machines were, much of the VP still had old CRT's. Drink service sucks, ordered a beer for the Mrs., and only diamond card holders get the bottle. The unwashed masses like us get a flat 7 oz. pour in a cup procured at the dollar store. We quickly dropped about $50 in a few slots and were not feeling the vibe, meaning too many spins between wins, so we left after 30 minutes. Plus, the place was fairly dead, this place will be off our radar indefinitely. We didn't make it to the House of Blues section of the casino.

    I've been wanting out check out Harrah's for awhile, so we made our way over to the Marina section. The parking deck was fairly crowded and we really liked the vibe once we hit the floor. I can't recall the last time we visited Harrah's, it could have been 10 years ago, but we will be back. It was busy and it seemed to have lot of machines that my wife liked. Alas, blackjack was 6:5 at many of the tables, not sure of the denominations, so I made my way to a nickel Super Times VP machine @ 5 hands, max coin required 30 credits to trigger the bonus. This was my first time at a machine where drinks could be ordered on the screen and it worked great. I ended up playing on $40 for over an hour and had two Heinekens and a Manhattan in the process. I skipped lunch, and have resolved to eat more fruit, so the cherries kept me on course.

    Before I played, I had a chance to walk around and although the layout seemed a little confusing, I was able to get the hang of my surroundings. I spotted Sammy D's in my walk around, so that's where we ended up for "happy hour" dinner. They had several $5 appetizers and a $3 beer special, which turned out to be flat Millers light in a plastic tumbler. Ordered chicken wing lollipops, which were 7 of the smallest fried drumsticks and blue cheese dressing, just plain gross and such small portions. I Also had the short rib waffle fries, which also sucked, why use chees wiz? We split a burger that was pretty decent, but I just feel a little ripped off at the Happy Hour bar specials. Why even offer them if the product is substandard? I can't recommend nor will I return to Sammy D's.

    Made our way over to the Atlantic Club, but stopped at Tropicana to redeem $25 in slot cash, this took about 15 minutes and we were gone. There was no one in the check in line at the Atlantic Club and we waited about a minute for a clerk to show up, by that time, one other guest showed up. We received a room on the 9th floor facing the bay, and I didn't think of asking for an upgrade to an oceanfront room. The room was totally adequate and in good working order, we dumped our luggage and made our way to the casino. It was a little dead, and there were only two $10 BJ tables, I only had to wait for a few minutes to get a seat. Drink service was good and I was able to get a couple Heinekens. The dealer was in slow motion the whole time and after about an hour, I grinded out a small win. My wife played on some tall version of a Hot Shots penny slot at 140 coins per spin and at one point won 90 bonus spins. This took about 15 minutes to complete and yielded about $60. A win is a win, but it just seemed the slots were not paying very well and I expected a better yield from the bonus spins. We went upstairs and watched most of the Eagles-Dallas game, the highlight was Jerry Jones turning his back to the camera and cursing over his QB's interception to end his season. It's a Philly thing.

    The next morning, we got up and checked out early and made our way home, stopping for breakfast at Maria's Luncheonette, a nondescript hole in the wall for a cheap breakfast and great coffee.

    I totally missed seeing any cigar chomping, amulet wearing, loud talking Philly-New York types attired in color coordinated nylon running suits. Maybe because it was Sunday and they were home with their families eating macaronis and gravy, watching the Iggles play the Cowboys.

    My biggest take away from this brief trip was how could I have missed coming to Harrah's Marina for so many years? But, that's the best part of travel and making new discoveries. I figured if its good enough for jerseyguy, I needed to see for myself. :nworthy: The indoor pool area is really nice and I could see myself in a lounge chair relaxing with a cocktail while it's snowing outside. I think we will be weaning ourselves away from Tropicana, the machines are tight and old, but we still get some comped rooms midweek.
     
  2. Patripman

    Patripman Low-Roller

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    We will miss The Hilton, I refuse to call it anything else. We were regulars there starting around 1996 and have been going to AC off and on since 1987 that was up until our last trip in June 2011. For the Hilton we always enjoyed the place and were never disappointed with the rooms or food choices or the casino. The access to that part of the beach in the summer was a benefit since you had less crowds and easy access to the hotel.
    I will say that we too enjoy Harrahs and have stayed there several times, we stay away from anything on the boardwalk north of Caesars.

    As for those nylon suited cigar chomping people, Friday night is for the other woman with Saturday being spent with the wife, Sunday is for the family. But if you wanted to find them then Caesars Palace is the place to go. I will guarantee a few "Goombas" there along with a good amount of Jersey Shore types trying to fit in, if you know what I mean. There is no lacking tattoo's, gold chains or pinky rings in that place.

    As for our last trip in 2011:wave:, AC is a dump of a city and has always been a dump. So many times people thought they would turn things around but they don't, their politicians don't want to do what they need to do to improve the place and surely the casinos don't want anyone on the boardwalk or beaches. I can go on about AC's issues but we will keep our south Jersey vacations limited to Avalon, Stone Harbor and North Wildwood.

    p
     
  3. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

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    Great report..Harrah's is home away from home for me when in AC..and thanks to the Borgata they have been expanding to keep up over the years (The Pool,2 new towers etc).The marina district is the place to stay..And it still has a lovely ocean view..:wink

    Hammie you went on a good day..all dose guys you missed were getting tanned in N. Miami at the J e t s Jets,Jets,Jets game vs the Fins..:evillaugh
    Just hate when those obnoxious northeasterners with those accents come down to FL..:thumbsup:
     
  4. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    We stopped going to Harrahs back in the summer

    Moved over to Golden Nugget for a few reasons. All of a sudden Harrahs got really cheesy with their compted rooms ,even weekdays. They forgot how people like us supported them when the place was empty all winter long.
    The GN rooms are newly renovated while Harrahs seem to be running down fast and many times dirty. Other people may differ with this ,I just base it on our own experience.
    We're mostly vp bartop players and we've done ok at the GN and the bartenders are really a super friendly group . They do good by the over 50 crowd also on tues-thu, lots of good promos ,stuff we've actually won besides good food deals ,free parking etc.
    Much more relaxed drink policies,you dont need to be diamond to get a decent cocktail,that type of crap. Also they have bands playing in areas where you just walk in and sit or bring a drink from somewhere else.
    During the summer months the outdoor deck is fantastic ,great entertainment ,reasonable food and drink.
    It's not the Borgata or Revel,but thats not our speed anyway.
    We got there yesterday about 2:30 pm and they still had the senior promos going on NYE,Mrs. hit the 4 deuces,we both won the horse race promo,her twice and we hooked up with and old vp buddy from Harrahs who took us up to the Chairmans Club for some dinner . Got out of there by 8:30.
     
  5. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    We went to Parx for NYE and left around 9 as it started to get crowded and filled up for Amateur Night. I made a donation, but my wife made a bigger withdrawal on a penny slot, so our kitty is in better shape.

    Patripman, agree with your summer shore destinations of Avalon, Stone Harbor, and N.Wildwood (my personal fave). I also like Ocean City, a dry town, but with an American Legion that pours a legal drink. Alas, the woes in Atlantic City will only worsen because the Borgata sued for property tax relief, it claimed it was over assessed. The courts agreed and now the city will have to borrow to refund a few years of overpayments. I am sure the other casinos will appeal their assessments which leaves the homeowners holding the bag.

    With that said, there is a hell of lot wrong with AC, and the same could be said for many other communities. Not sure what "they" can do because its tough to legislate human behavior. Up until this year, it was the second biggest gaming market in the USA. But there are still 12 large casinos pulling in close to $4 billion annually, an ocean, good games, restaurants, a boardwalk. For me, its less than two hours away by car. Just keep an eye on the seagulls as they will be eyeballing those boardwalk fries.
     
  6. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    I agree about Sammy D's. That place sucks but they seem to to advertise it everywhere. I had the worst cheesesteak there but at least their breakfast food is ok.

    Sounds like something has changed in the last few months because Harrahs didn't have too many 6:5 tables in the past. There were some but only on single deck I think. Otherwise it was all 3:2 even on low limits.

    Awesome to hear you also go to Marie's Luncheonette lol. We used to grab breakfast there sometimes on our way out as well, at least if we could find parking in their tiny lot or nearby on the street. That wasn't always easy.
     
  7. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Never been to AC, but I'm impressed with hosting 32 for Christmas! I can't begin to imagine. 10 or 12 is a huge party for us.
     
    Christmas
    My wife's birthday
  8. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    Ditto on Sammy D's

    Good happy hour at Mc Cormick and Schmicks , Blue Moon on tap for $3, great burgers and frys for $4 besides other values.Nice place inside also.
    If in Golden Nugget happy hour at Chart House is the way to go,Avoid Vic and Anthonys and Grotto happy hours.
     
  9. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Thanks Joe, we just had 10 for New Years Day: pork roast with kraut. Christmas was a little stressful, but had a little help from the inlaws. Found out that rib roasts max out at 7 ribs, plus we made a 24 lb turkey. Suffice it to say, we are done with entertaining for awhile. My neighbors think I am running an illegal bar with all the bottles on recycling day.

    JG, thanks for the tip on McCormick and Schmicks, will give it a try. As for Vic and Anthony's at the Golden Nugget, we went there just for Buck a Shuck oysters. The small tables make it tough to enjoy drinks and a couple of appetizers, but I will trade off a little inconvenience for a dozen oysters @ $1 each.

    Kickin', another dive that I like is Tony's Baltimore Grill, good bar pie and pasta. Good meatballs. Dark wood paneling and vinyl booths, Formica tables, mature waitresses with attytood, like something out of the 1960's.

    Just checked today's mail and received a post card from Resorts offering a comp room. :thumbsup:
     
  10. broncofn

    broncofn VIP Whale

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    Great tr about ac. As kickin said, i have also never seen a 6/5 table in ac except the single deck at gn. Maybe harrahs as single deck also? I know gn is bringing dd in but not sure about the rules and maybe harrahs already has dd.

    If you want a good sub or cheese steak, go to white house subs. Its worth it. And then there is the place in the harrahs food court which i forgot the name of. Makes for good hangover food lol.
     
  11. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    It's called Sack O' Subs, they have two locations in Ocean City, they are pretty awesome. Love the White House Special, but never had a cheesesteak there. I read somewhere that the White House has its cold cuts custom made. But the Italian roll is probably the best I've ever had, a beautiful crust and pillow soft inside, which is ripped out to cradle the ingredients. Tough to go back to having Subway after one of these. But my all time favorite drunk food is at Tony Luke's with locations at Tropicana and Borgata: the Roast Pork Italian. Thin sliced pork loin warmed in au jus topped with aged provalone and broccoli rabe sautéed in garlic and olive oil.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  12. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    Sack is in Ballys also,last year anyway

    I think White House owns them or franchises them out. My opinion is that the original is MUCH better,but thats just me. I do like their breakfast subs,scrambled egg,pork roll even I wouldnt screw that up.
    The bread ,as far as I know comes from Formicas Bakery in Ducktown. If nothing else AC has very good water.
     
  13. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    White House is great but I need to take a nap after eating one of those. The Sack O Subs and everything else in the Harrahs Food court don't accept any of those dining vouchers you get in the mail and they either don't take RCs or take them at twice the rate. I can't remember.

    I like that Borgata next door has a Fatburger and Tony Lukes in the food court but if you have a Black card (which you can get automatically if you're CET Diamond) you can go to either the Amphora Lounge or the buffet for only $10 comp dollars. It's probably one of the best deals anywhere because both those places serve good grub.
     
  14. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

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    Harrahs food court is 2x RW's..I like the Pizza there myself,I think the best subs are made at Jersey Mikes but did get a cheesesteak once or twice from SOS.. Before Jersey Mike's franchised out all over the country,I would pack a few in ice packs to bring back to Fl..I now have a store minutes away...And Burger Bills's is even 1 for 1 comps there.Good at 4am but just a nicer Burger King imo..
     
  15. broncofn

    broncofn VIP Whale

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    Yes, the bread comes from Formica. I believe they have a sign that says that and have seen it delivered in brown paper bags.
     
  16. broncofn

    broncofn VIP Whale

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    You are also correct here from what I've seen. On SOS website it says or used to say they are or affiliated with whitehouse.
     
  17. broncofn

    broncofn VIP Whale

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    And don't forget that you can also drink whatever you want down in the amphora lounge. I look at it as a much better diamond lounge with a cover charge lol.
     
  18. mcmann14

    mcmann14 Tourist

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    Stayed in AC for the first time over the summer and noticed most BJ tables were 6:5, especially at the Caesars properties.
     
  19. flysrb

    flysrb Hey Now!

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    Hey Now!!!!

    Had one of the best BJ sessions ever a few years ago at the Hilton. We had a friend named Mena who dealt- he's at Harrahs Resort now- 2 couples playing at a dime table. Mena was reaching over to my stack and adding chips to my bet, and more or less telling up when to hold back, when to bet. We all walked away with triple our buy-in. And Mena made a bunch too.
    The spa there was always relaxing, and the Beach Club rocked with the local bands.
    The Hilton was the first place we played Monopoly Jackpot Station too.
    Cue da Dog!
     
    HEY NOW! NYE in AC!!!!!!!
    Hey Now! 6 days in Biloxi....plus early Mardi Gras Parades!!!
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