The CEO of Hard Rock Atlantic City, Jim Allen, voiced his concerns that Atlantic City is “going in the wrong direction,” citing that the city in the worse shape it’s ever been since buying the Atlantic City casino nearly three years ago.
The resort is doing their part to keep employee morale high. After an employee meeting last Thursday, the Hard Rock handed out bonuses to nearly $2,900 full-time employees, totaling $2 million. Allen said while the company is willing and ready to be a part of a solution to build a better Atlantic City, it’s not confident over recent developments.
The City Needs Patching Up
One continuing trend of concern is the lack of urgency when it comes to keeping the streets and overall environment surrounding the resort safe and patched up. Allen notes that the streetlights have been out for two months on several blocks along Pacific Avenue:
“When you’re in a resort environment where safety and security is so important, if the city can’t get something fixed as simple as the street lighting, then maybe a change is needed,” he said.
Allen had humble career beginnings in the casino industry, when he started out as a cook at Bally’s Atlantic City over 40 years ago. He made a mere $6.11 an hour. Understanding the importance of keeping the hospitality industry alive in the town, he felt urged to meet with Mayor Marty Small to discuss plans for progress.
Recruiting the Mayor’s Help
On Thursday, Mayor Small stated that he’s been working with the electric company and state agency responsible for planning in the city to restore functioning traffic lights. That’s the first step. When asked about the impact he’s made and plans to move forward, he said this:
“I’ve been in office 103 days and we’ve already made changes, with plenty to come. I’m moving my agenda forward, and will meet with anyone that has the city’s best interest (at heart), which Jim Allen does.”
What’s Next Moving Forward
Allen said the company hopes to double bonuses next year if the casino’s performance improves. Although the hotel misses its 2019 business targets by 10%, it didn’t stop the generous and forward-thinking CEO to give the bonuses.
The motive is to motivate full-time workers to provide great customer service. Many of the workers received $250, while managers received bonuses on scales tied to their salary.
It’s a smart business move. If the city can’t improve its infrastructure, it can at least improve its level of service to keep guests coming to the door. Jill Tyron, an administrative assistant for Hard Rock Atlantic City said this about the free bonus the company received:
“What’s not to love about free money? I love it here. The people I work with are wonderful.”
The company plans to invest at least $15 million in capital expenditures in Atlantic City in 2020, one of those expenditures including an expanded sports betting operation.