Atlantic City Boardwalk Talk June News: Hard Rock, Ocean Turns 4, Island Waterpark Update, Fireworks

Written By Bill Gelman on June 17, 2022Last Updated on August 2, 2022
hard rock casino

The countdown to Fourth of July weekend is down to its final weeks. However, so much more is happening around Atlantic City this summer. And there is no way of containing it into a holiday weekend.

Two casinos in the North Beach section of town have some exciting events lined up as June 28 (the anniversary of opening day) approaches.

And the Showboat Hotel is making progress with building the Island Waterpark.

It’s Jersey Shore season, and if you’re hungry for new restaurant updates, we’ve got you covered.

This sets the table for June’s Atlantic City Boardwalk Talk.

Hard Rock and Ocean celebrate 4 years

Yes, the Fourth of July weekend is now less than a weekend away. However, before celebrating America’s Birthday, two Atlantic City casinos will be turning 4.

June, 28, 2018 is the day Ocean Casino Resort and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino both opened their doors. There have certainly been some serious bumps along the way with the biggest being the COVID shut down for 100-plus days thanks to a global pandemic.

Fast-forward to today, Hard Rock and Ocean are among the top-performing Atlantic City casinos.

As far as celebrations go, there will be special AC casino promos, exciting entertainment and grand openings.

Hard Rock will be holding its fourth anniversary $400,000 sweepstakes between Friday, June 24 and Monday, June 27.  Four winners will receive $4,000 in free play every 30 minutes from 5 p.m.-8 p.m.

Players can earn entries each day between 12:01 a.m. until 7:59 p.m.

And on June 27, gamblers will earn four-times tier points while playing slots and table games.

Switching gears to the entertainment lineup, 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Lionel Richie will take the Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena stage June 24 at 8 p.m.  Tickets start at $99.

Legendary Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform on June 25 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $249.

Atlantic City Boardwalk Talk June News: Hard Rock, Ocean Turns 4, Island Waterpark Update, Fireworks 3

Over at Ocean Casino Resort, Iron Chef Jose Garces is hosting a special Mediterranean-inspired lunch. Guests will enjoy a three-course meal with wine pairings while professional flamenco guitar player Gypsy Joe Vlado will provide live music. Tickets are $89 per person (18% gratuity and tax included).

And for those wondering when the Ocean retail sportsbook is reopening, the answer is Friday, July 1.

The Gallery Bar, Book & Games is the new 12,000-square-foot venue complete with 140 feet of LED walls, blackjack and roulette tables, and a 17-foot open-air staircase will connect to Balcony Bar.

The Ocean B-Day celebration also includes the Summer Kick Off $750,000 Sweepstakes taking place Saturday, June 25 through Monday, July 4. And there will be over 1,300 winners.

The casino’s 10X free play multiplier will take place June 22, 28 and 30.

North Beach Atlantic City fireworks

The annual North Beach Atlantic City fireworks celebration is penciled in for Friday, July 1 at 9:30 p.m. Besides Hard Rock and Ocean, there will be several other great viewing locations:

  • Resorts Hotel & Casino 
  • Showboat Hotel 
  • Steel Pier

Tropicana Saturday night fireworks are back

Speaking of fireworks, if waiting until Fourth of July weekend sounds like no fun, we have the perfect solution.

All summer, the weekly Tropicana AC Saturday night fireworks light up the sky starting at 10 p.m. Just step out on The Boardwalk and look up. The fireworks are accompanied by music. If you have never seen them, definitely consider putting them on the summer to-do list.

Island Waterpark update

If you happened to be strolling past the Showboat Hotel Thursday morning at 4:30 a.m. (although we are not sure why you would be), you might’ve noticed some construction trucks.

And they were there for a good reason.  Construction crews were onsite pouring some 700 yards of concrete for the main pump room to the Island Waterpark. This will house the waterpark pumps for the slides.

Showboat is billing it as a “major construction milestone.”

There is still plenty of work to be done as the 103,000-square-foot year-round attraction isn’t expected to be ready until summer of 2023. A retractable glass-pane roof will cover the entire project, making it a year-round destination.

Read more about Island Waterpark plans here.

B Prime arrives at Borgata

Unlike the Boardwalk casinos, there hasn’t been much news from MGM Resorts regarding what’s new at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

Well, at least until earlier this week. B Prime is opening Thursday, June 23. Yes, one steakhouse is replacing another. Those familiar with the Marina District property will notice this new concept is taking over the space previously occupied by Bobby Flay Steak.

More Atlantic City restaurant news

Other properties around town are busy with restaurant openings of their own. However, from what we are hearing, none of them are expected to be ready this month.

Ossu Japanese Tavern at the Tropicana is targeted for an early July debut. We expect the Trop to share the exact date soon.

Bobby’s Burgers over at Harrah’s Resort could be ready by mid-July, but nothing has been officially announced yet.

Play NJ will continue monitoring the Atlantic City restaurant buzz. This includes Hell’s Kitchen over at Caesars Atlantic City where a late summer opening remains a possibility.

Next door at Bally’s AC, the outdoor portion of The Yard is opening Friday, July 1. Live bands and DJs are scheduled throughout Fourth of July weekend.

Fakefest returns to Golden Nugget Atlantic City

You know it must be summer when the four-day Fakefest is taking place at the Golden Nugget Atlantic City. Basically, it’s an annual free outdoor event featuring some of the top East Coast cover bands.

The whole event is taking place at The Deck. Must be 21 or older to attend.

Here is the lineup:

Thursday, June 23 

  • B Street Band (Bruce Springsteen), 8 p.m.

Friday, June 24:

  • Completely Unchained (Van Halen), 7 p.m., 9:40 p.m.
  • Nightrain (Guns & Roses),  8:20 p.m., 11:10 p.m.

Saturday, June 25:

  • Refugee (Tom Petty), 1:30 p.m., 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday’s Gone (Lynryd Skynryd), 3:10 p.m., 9:35 p.m.
  • Stairway to Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin), 4:50 p.m., 11:10 p.m.

Sunday, June 26:

  • Fleetwood Macked (Fleetwood Mac), 1 p.m., 7 p.m.
  • Beginnings (Chicago), 2:50 p.m., 8:35 p.m.
  • Separate Ways (Journey), 4:40 p.m., 10:10 p.m.

Photo by File Photo
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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman has been reporting on the NJ gambling market since 2018, right around when the Garden State launched sports betting. Bill transitioned from lead writer for Play NJ and NJ Gambling Sites to his current role as managing editor in 2020. Besides offering in-depth analysis on NJ gambling market trends and news, Bill regularly sits down with Atlantic City casino industry executives to offer readers exclusive interviews and comprehensive coverage. Bill received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ithaca College. He has contributed to other Catena Media sites including The Lines, Legal Sports Report, PlayPennsylvania and PlayCanada.

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