Today's Flashback Friday story comes from member, Resorts in Atlantic City, as they celebrate their 43rd anniversary this week. The first legal casino in the eastern United States, Resorts Casino Hotel, opened in Atlantic City, New Jersey on May 26, 1978. Let's take a look back...

Resorts International, a former paint company that turned its focus on building hotels and casinos in 1968, became interested in owning a hotel-casino in Atlantic City, which was considered an attractive location for business in the early 70s. After owning the first legally owned casino in Atlantic City, Resorts International paved the way for other companies to build their own casinos in the beautiful location.

Before they founded Resorts Casino Hotel, the company first bought a 55-acre land on the Atlantic City Boardwalk while also buying the Leeds & Lippincott Company in August 1976. After the acquisition of Leeds & Lippincott, which is reported to have been bought for $2.489 million, Resorts International was forced to reduce the 1,000 rooms that are at the Chalfonte-Haddon Hall to only 566 rooms in order to follow the city’s room capacity requirements. 

The bigger Haddon Hall was then converted to several establishments, including a casino, a showroom, some shops, and a few restaurants. By using an already existing hotel in the form of the Haddon Hall, Resorts International will be able to open its doors to the public at a much earlier date than their rival companies, who are also building and renovating hotels in Atlantic City.

Despite the encouragement of the Atlantic City government for hotel-casino companies to build new buildings, Resorts International still decided to use the existing Haddon Hall as their casino. As the government believes that the Haddon Hall, even though it is turned into a casino, would still bring tourists to their city, they let Resorts International use the historical building instead of building a new one. 

The Haddon Hall was renamed The Palace Hotel in May 1977, but on July 1, 1977, Resorts International renamed the building once again to Resorts International Hotel. As for the Chalfonte Hotel, it remained vacant until 1980, when it was demolished to allow Resorts International to build a parking lot for the guests.

Flash forward, Resorts Casino Hotel, a Mohegan Sun Property, with 21 prime oceanfront acres on the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk in North Beach, has 942 guest rooms and suites in two historic hotel towers connected by 80,000-square-ft of world-class action. Resorts features two theaters, 10 restaurants, a food court with a variety of eateries, two VIP slot and table player lounges, two casino bars, indoor-outdoor swimming pool, health club and spa, salon and retail shops. Its 64,000 square feet of modern meeting spaces include 24 meeting and function rooms with ocean views and a 13,000 square-foot ballroom.

Per Meg Lewis, today Resorts will celebrate and kick-off the unofficial start of summer! Festivities include:

  • Their annual beach ball drop will commence at 5PM, modified for current restrictions. It will be an indoor drop and 10 winners will participate live while it's streaming to the casino floor. One lucky winner may grab the ball that is worth $5,000! The event will be streamed live on their Facebook.
  • Between 5-6PM, the prize patrol will be handing out gifts and beach balls.
  • A slot tournament is happening 7-11PM. First place wins $1,000 in slot play.
  • They have 10x cashback, strolling entertainers, $500 every 15 minutes 9PM to Midnight plus radio remote and live DJ will be taking your text requests.
  • The mayor will be "opening the sea" at 2PM in front of Resorts.

Checkout their social channel links below for more information.