ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Moving quickly on a project designed to be up and running by Memorial Day, the state Department of Environmental Protection said Tuesday it has granted a crucial permit for a $35 million expansion of Resorts Casino Hotel.
The Coastal Areas Facilities Review Act permit was needed for the planned Margaritaville restaurant, bar and entertainment complex to be built across the boardwalk from New Jersey's oldest casino. The permit, which was signed on Sept. 4, is needed for any substantial construction project along the shoreline.
The project still needs other approvals, but the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, which will run Resorts' day-to-day operations under an agreement soon to be approved by New Jersey casino regulators, hopes to have the complex up and running by Memorial Day weekend.
The plans call for construction of a 16,000-square foot restaurant called Margaritaville Landshark Bar & Grill on a rebuilt Steeplechase Pier. As is the case with other Margaritaville properties owned by entertainer Jimmy Buffett, plans call for island-themed landscaping including palm trees, more than a dozen cabanas, two beach volleyball courts, a bocce ball court, two horseshoe pits and a fire pit. An adjacent surf shop also is planned.
"We are grateful to the DEP for their quick attention to the Margaritaville project at Resorts Casino Hotel and are looking forward to beginning construction in the next few weeks," casino spokeswoman Courtney Birmingham said. "The Margaritaville project is easily one of the largest initiatives in Atlantic City in recent years, and we are looking forward to being a pivotal piece of the puzzle as Atlantic City continues to grow as a resort destination."