Ocean Resort CEO Reflects on Property’s Progress and Future Plans

Ocean Resort Casino, Atlantic CityLong before it was Ocean Resort Casino, the property was known as Revel, and it had a reputation of being the white elephant of the Atlantic City boardwalk. But why? According to Atlantic City and Philadelphia developer and nearby Showboat Casino owner, Bart Blatstein, it’s the “worst-designed building” he’s ever seen.

“There are so many reasons it failed. How can you have a casino on the Boardwalk and not be able to enter it from there?” questioned Blatstein.

It cost $2.4 billion to build the oddly designed casino, which features a hotel lobby on the 11th floor and casino on the sixth floor. When it finally shut its doors in September 2014, investors weren’t flocking to buy it.

Finally, in January 2018, AC Ocean Walk took a leap of faith and bought the property for a cool $200 million, renaming it Ocean Resort Casino.

Considering its difficult rise to claim Atlantic City acceptance and its inherent architectural issues, it made the revival process a difficult one, but one Ocean Resort CEO Terry Glebocki was willing to fight for.

“The property had a history of being tone deaf to most A.C. customers and we’ve overcome that,” Glebocki said. “We were voted No. 1 casino in A.C. (in 2019 by Atlantic City Press) for best rooms, best comps and best players clubs. That’s because of what we stand for, giving people a fair deal.”

Ocean Revamps their Property

Because of the property’s historical reluctance to prioritize the guest experience, Glebocki made sure to find ways to give guests what they actually want by being mindful of details and what the property has to uniquely offer that you can’t get elsewhere in Atlantic City.

Since the property reopened in June 2018, major forward changes have been made. For one, the current vibe is a lot hipper, and more relaxed. It’s also been transformed into a family-friendly resort.

She also figured out a way to adapt to the property’s unconventional architecture, making for a more seamless transition for guests to get from the hotel lobby to the casino floor, and vice versa.

“Our new elevator bank offers direct access from the hotel level to the casino level, two new elevators now lead guests from the hotel lobby to the casino floor. Customers previously had to take an escalator or elevator that was not near the hotel tower.

Glebocki also diversified the resort’s available dining options, offering up casual restaurants alongside the number of upscale restaurants to balance the mix, giving their variety of guests more freedom to choose what they can eat on-site.

The property has also significantly increased event bookings at their Ovations Hall, with 42 dates booked in 2019, and their rentable beachfront space, which has been a popular space for summer events.

The real winning addition to the property, however, is their Exhale Spa + Bathhouse, being touted as a “tranquil oasis.” According to Glebocki, “Exhale was recently voted the top spa in New Jersey by Spas of America. What sets us apart from our competition is our Turkish style co-ed bathhouse and Himalayan Salt Grotto.”

Plans for the Property in 2020

Atlantic City’s trailblazing CEO will be planning more changes for the property in 2020:

“We will be enhancing and adding new gaming experiences for our guests,” Glebocki said. “We are planning a major investment in a new high-limit slot experience that will position Ocean as a premier gaming destination in Atlantic City. We are also in conversations with our business partners in providing even more amenities and services that will wow our guests.”

About Terry Glebocki

Glebocki is a Lehigh University alum who served as vice president of finance for a few of Donald Trump’s Atlantic City casinos for 23 years. She served in the same capacity at Revel, beginning in 2007, before being promoted to chief financial officer of the company five years later in 2013.

In February 2019, she was appointed as Ocean’s chief financial officer. Last August, she served as the interim CEO after the property’s previous CEO, Eric Matejevich, stepped down. In December, she was named the official CEO of Ocean Resort Casino.

Glebocki is currently the only woman chief executive officer of an Atlantic City casino.

Atlantic City’s Casino Employment Down Slightly in 2019

Ocean Casino Resort, Atlantic CityAs compared with numbers from the end of 2018, the total number of people working in Atlantic City’s nine casino hotels declined slightly at the end of 2019.

Experts say the 2019 decrease in employment isn’t a cause for concern, though. It’s also not an indicator that the industry is moving in the wrong direction, but rather a more accurate reflection that AC’s casino market added two properties in June 2018 — Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort.

But the lowered numbers are showing the market self-correcting after the previous addition of those two huge properties.

The Executive Director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton University, Rummy Pandit, said the industry is still figuring itself out, as the nine casinos attempt to identify the best way to operate in an expanded market.

“The casinos were “more efficient” in 2019 and were therefore “able to generate higher levels of revenue at a lower expense rate,” Pandit said.

Employment Eclipsed with Hard Rock & Ocean Casino Opening

Hard Rock and Ocean Resort brought in a lot of traffic and excitement to the beachfront gaming mecca. And these marks hadn’t been met in over a decade. Only one month after the Hard Rock and Ocean reopened the shuttered Boardwalk casino properties, the entire casino hotel industry reported employing more than 30,000 people.

That was the first time employment eclipsed the 30,000 mark for the first time in four years. The last time the city reached those employment numbers was in 2014, right before four properties closed.

The dual openings of Hard Rock and Ocean resulted in the creation of 7,741 jobs in June 2018. By the end of that year, those two properties employed 6,927 people. As of December, Hard Rock (3,630) and Ocean (2,949) accounted for 6,579 casino hotel jobs, or just shy of 25% of the industry’s total labor force.

The Market Self-Corrects

According to Pandit, “New properties can take anywhere from six months to a year to stabilize in its market segments, and will adjust staffing levels accordingly.” After a strong summer and initial enthusiasm once the two properties opened, Atlantic City saw a 4.5% reduction in casino positions in September 2018.

Ocean Resort actually reported the largest decrease in the number of jobs lost (228) from the year 2018 to 2019. Bally’s Atlantic City reported the largest decrease in jobs as a percentage of its total workforce, with a nearly 9% difference in 12 months.

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is currently responsible for employing the most NJ residents out of all the Atlantic City casinos. The casino reported over 5,500 jobs just last month. Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City provided 3,095 jobs at the end of 2019, third-most among the resort’s casino hotels. Tropicana rounded out the top five in 2019, reporting 2,947 employees.

Will 2020 Numbers Increase?

Heading into 2020, Atlantic City seems to be in a generally more optimistic spot, as it’ll be buoyed by an expanded casino market with more jobs and more revenue. On the contrary, it’s uncertain whether all nine casinos will make it the finish line of 2020, and whether nearby states will bite into the city’s main strengths right now: online gambling and sports betting.

2019 marked the first full year that all nine Atlantic City casinos were in full operation. How the city chooses to navigate the changing tides of the industry will be the biggest determining factor of how 2020 will go for them.

David Schwartz, a gambling historian with the University of Nevada Las Vegas, said this of key factors that will merit AC’s success this year:

“I think we will see the city continue to adjust to the new gambling landscape.

Sports betting and online betting will continue to grow in importance. Anything that gives people a reason to visit Atlantic City in person when there are plenty of places to gamble closer to home — including home — will be key.”

Ocean’s CEO, Terry Glebocki, is confident this will be a booming year for his casino, which he refers to as the fastest growing casino in Atlantic City. Saying it is “better positioned today than ever before.”

2020 could also see new life for the former Atlantic Club casino, which has been dark since Jan. 2014. Colosseo Atlantic City Inc., a New York investment and construction firm, bought the property in October and announced plans to reopen it as a non-gambling hotel.

Lupo, Hard Rock’s president, said:

“The challenge will continue to be seeing casino revenue growth continue. Most of the growth has been online gambling and online sports wagering. Can we keep people coming to the market and increase visitation?”

Only time will tell.

Terry Glebocki is Named CEO Of Atlantic City’s Ocean Resort

Atlantic City’s casino industry is thriving right now. The majority of gambling venues in the city are experiencing revenue increases almost every single month. This week, Atlantic City’s Ocean Resort officially hired Terry Glebocki as its new CEO.Ocean Resort Sign

It’s a huge move for this casino operator. It’s now one of the few major gambling companies in the US with a woman as its leader. Let’s look at what led to this decision.

Gambling Revenue Continues to Surge in Atlantic City

We’ve reported on the surge in gambling revenue in Atlantic City for years. Throughout almost all of 2019, casinos in this city have seen their earnings increase. Much of this can be attributed to the legalization of sports betting.

New Jersey was instrumental in getting the Supreme Court to strike down PASPA. Almost immediately afterward, lawmakers in this state began allowing sports gambling to take place. Every casino in Atlantic City now operates a land-based and online sportsbook.

The ability to place sports wagers is attracting a huge number of gamblers to Atlantic City. It’s helped to boost casino revenue, too.

Recently, the state’s gambling commission released the quarter-three revenue earnings. Incredibly, gross profit over these three months increased by an astounding 12.5%. The nine casinos in Atlantic City generated $928.9 million over this quarter.

Things aren’t slowing down here. Even during the winter months, Atlantic City is bringing in a huge number of gamblers.

Atlantic City’s Ocean Resort Hires Terry Glebocki as CEO

It’s well-known that the vast majority of leaders in the US casino industry are men. This week, however, Atlantic City’s Ocean Resort officially hired Terry Glebocki as its new CEO. Glebocki has years of experience in the industry and is an exciting new addition to Ocean Resort’s company.

Interestingly, Terry has served in an interim position since August. Initially, it was unclear whether or not she would maintain that position in years to come. It seems that the company enjoys her leadership style and has decided to make Glebocki the official CEO.

The new CEO commented on the news to the media this week.

“I’m so excited about this,” she said. “I like to think that I’m qualified for this job, whether I’m a man or a woman. But I do think I bring a different perspective to things. I like when there’s diversity in the team.”

Over the years, Terry Glebocki has worked for both Tropicana Entertainment and Trump Entertainment Resorts. She also served as CFO of Revel, which Ocean Resort eventually took control of. As a former accountant, Terry feels confident in her ability to control the casino-resort’s finances.

“I’m a detail-oriented person,” she said. “I look just as closely at a $1,000 expenditure as I do at a $1 million expenditure.” 

Hope is that the company’s new CEO can help to improve things over the next decade.

Ocean Resort Begins to See Revenue Increases

For months, Atlantic City’s Ocean Resort was one of the lowest-earning gambling venues in Atlantic City. Its location in the North Beach area of the city made it slightly less desirable than other casinos here. Recently, however, Ocean Resort has been generating more revenue than several of its competitors.

This was certainly the case in October. Reports from the NJ Gambling Commission show that Ocean Resort generated $18,427,671 that month. In terms of slot revenue, it was one of the city’s top earners.

It’s fantastic news for this resort, which at one point looked to be on the brink of collapse. Even the casino’s sportsbook is managing to generate impressive revenue figures.

Many are excited to see how Terry Glebocki’s role as CEO affects the casino-resort. Her years of experience in the casino industry should help to make things even better. Perhaps in time, Ocean Resort will be seen as one of the best venues in New Jersey.

Stay tuned for more Atlantic City gambling news over the next few months!