Grit and glamour in Atlantic City’s Borgata
The Borgata is one of Atlantic City’s new classics. The hotel and casino brands itself as “The Show that Never Ends,” a nod to the 24-hour nature of casino life. But it could also describe Atlantic City’s cultural resilience.
Like its recently storm-battered coastline, AC is adapting quickly. While it continues to keep old-guard gamblers happy, it now welcomes a hipper crowd seeking sophisticated cuisine and edgy entrainment.
Last week, The Borgata celebrated its 10th anniversary with a concert headlined by The Roots. Backstage, Chrissy Teigen, multitalented model and fiancee of John Legend, mused on why she enjoys spending time in casinos.
“I love the fact that everyone is in one spot,” she told us. “It’s almost like all the people that you see at the airport, from all different walks of life, but actually in a communal place to have a great time and to have fun.”
That diversity was reflected in the show’s lineup, kicking off with a set from comedian Aziz Ansari, followed by Slash fronting The Roots for a jazzed up “Sweet Child of Mine.” Later, a joyous Jill Scott had the usually sedate crowd on their feet. During the show, in a scene right out of “Boardwalk Empire,” thieves pulled off a $200k heist in the casino’s jewelry store.
In the new Atlantic City, gambling, although the main source of revenue, is just one option among many. Celebrity chefs such as Wolfgang Puck and Philadelphia rising star Jose Garces have all set up shop down the shore. The Water Club, the boutique hotel adjoining the Borgata, has a two-story ocean-view spa that offers ayurvedic treatments.
But for those dreaming of hitting it big, there will always be games.
“I still have chips from every casino I’ve ever been to,” Tiegen confessed. “I don’t even cash them in. If John ever kicks me to the curb, I’m just going to turn in all my chips.”
Metro’s Picks for Summer at the Borgata
Burlesque: Thursdays, 9 p.m., The Music Box
The Killers: Aug. 9, 8 p.m., The Event Center
Diana Ross: Aug. 18, 8 p.m., The Event Center
Jim Gaffigan: Aug. 24, 7 and 10 p.m., The Event Center
Russell Brand: Sept. 13, 9 p.m., The Music Box
The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
1 Borgata Way
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Where to stay
The Water Club at Borgata
1 Renaissance Way
Atlantic City, NJ