7/2/2003 (AP via Newsday.com) ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Odds are, you’ll have to get up pretty early to be there when the first dice roll at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
New Jersey’s first new casino hotel in 13 years is expected to open at 3 a.m. Thursday, betting that a wee-hours start time will limit the crush of eager gamblers.
“It’s going to be the morning of July 3, we just haven’t decided the time,” said Rob Stillwell, spokesman for Boyd Gaming Corp., the casino’s operator. “We’ll know come tomorrow. It’s a minute-by-minute thing.”
Regulators have been told to plan for a 3 a.m. opening of the 2,002-room casino-hotel, which is located in the city’s marina district, near Trump Marina and Harrah’s Atlantic City.
On Wednesday, some of the casino’s 5,000 employees were undergoing last-minute uniform fitting adjustments while others were participating in system tests or eating test meals in some of the $1 billion casino’s 11 restaurants.
Boyd Gaming Chairman William S. Boyd, meanwhile, was in New York to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
The casino-hotel, a joint venture of MGM Mirage and Boyd Gaming Corp., will be the first new property in Atlantic City since Trump Taj Mahal opened its doors in 1990.
State regulators were also scrambling to be ready for the opening, which was scheduled to occur in stages over two days.
Media and dignitaries were to be given tours beginning Wednesday, while the public opening and other events were planned Thursday.
“We have approximately 45 people directly involved in the opening, and they are working 24 hours a day, watching the various functions,” said Kerry Hand, spokeswoman for the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.