History of Atlantic City’s Boardwalk & Hotels
History Buff Heaven
Atlantic City is famous for its entertainment value. For more than one hundred years, this city by the sea has been recognized worldwide as a destination where casino gaming, superstar shows, first-class dining, luxury vacations, fun and shopping are the order of the day. But behind the glitz and glamour, Atlantic City has a rich and storied history juicy enough for any history aficionado.
Since the very beginning, Atlantic City has been a magnet for pioneers, risk-takers, dreamers and doers. It’s in our genes. The same can be said for Resorts. After all, Resorts Casino was the very first of Atlantic City’s casino hotels, and the first legal casino outside of Nevada. But the story of our historic hotel begins long before anyone ever rolled a pair of dice. In fact, our hotel has stood at the center of Atlantic City’s ever-evolving action for more than 140 years. So what better place to start your tour of Atlantic City’s history?
Take a Trip to the Past with this Resorts Timeline
1868 and 1869 –The story begins with the opening of two three-story wooden Quaker rooming houses, Chalfonte House and The Haddon House, on the current site of Resorts Casino Hotel.
1870 – The Atlantic City Boardwalk is born.
Saturday, July 2, 1904 –The Leeds Company announces the opening of the ‘fireproof’ Chalfonte Hotel.
1929 – Chalfonte-Haddon Hall undergoes major renovations including the addition of a power plant which plays an integral part in its progression into the future.
1943-1944 – Chalfonte-Haddon Hall becomes a vital part of national history when World War II progresses and Atlantic City is called up to serve the country. The beaches of Camp Boardwalk were used for maneuvers and training of armed forces. Haddon Hall was transformed into the Thomas England General Hospital.
Thursday August 1, 1946 – The Leeds and Zappincott Company announce the Haddon Hall Grand Re-Opening as a convention site and summer retreat.
1950s and 1960s – From its earliest days, Atlantic City attracted groups of people for business and pleasure. The 1950s and 1960s were no exception. Chalfonte-Haddon Hall worked diligently to bring conventions to its facilities, going so far as to build a brand new exhibit hall in 1965. From professional conferences of thousands, to the launch of new product lines, doing business at Chalfonte-Haddon hall was a pleasure.
1967 – When a gallon of gas was 29¢, minimum wage was less than a dollar an hour and it only cost 10¢ to mail a letter, an average night stay at a hotel was a whopping $15.00. Beautiful advertisements and colorful brochures led scores of visitors to get their money’s worth at the Chalfonte-Haddon Hall.
1970s – A group of American businessmen spent $11 million to renovate Chalfonte-Haddon Hall, preparing the storied property for the arrival of legalized gambling.
May 26, 1978 – With crowds of people lined up on the Boardwalk, Resorts International opened its doors for business. People waited for hours for a chance to play the 84 table games and 893 slots within the 33,735 square feet of casino space. Resorts casino floor was open from 10am and 4am, except on Saturdays, Sundays and Federal Holidays when it remained open until 6am.
Resorts originally consisted of two hotel towers, the Ocean Tower and the Atlantic Tower. In September 2002, the 166-room Atlantic Tower was demolished making way for the new Rendezvous Tower construction.
2004 – 2006 – The Resorts experience is redefined with the opening of expansion projects including the Rendezvous Tower, 25 Hours, and Gallagher’s Steakhouse.
Memorial Day weekend 2008 – Resorts celebrates 30 years of gaming in A.C.
2010 – Resorts Casino Hotel is purchased by Casino Executive Dennis Gomes and New York real estate magnate Morris Bailey.
Your Tour of Everything to See at the Boardwalk and Beyond.
A stay at Resorts Casino Hotel puts you directly in touch with living history, a testament to growth and change. If your travel plans give you a little more time to explore Atlantic City’s historic landmarks, you should not pass up a visit to these celebrated sites.
Absecon Lighthouse – Climb 228 steps, look out and imagine what the view might have been in 1857, when the third tallest lighthouse in the U.S. was first constructed. You can also visit a reproduction of the 1925 light keeper’s dwelling, complete with memorabilia and antique photographs to enjoy.
Atlantic City Historical Museum – For Atlantic City history, you’ve hit pay dirt at the museum. This recently restored 1913 Garden Pier location is a piece of history itself, and see the displays devoted to Enoch “Nucky” Johnson (the inspiration for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire®), Mr. Peanut and the Miss America pageant, all of which have their origins in Atlantic City. Step away from this experience with a full understanding of the meteoric rise, fall and glorious reconstruction of one of the world’s most famous cities.
Dock’s Oyster House – Opened in 1897 by Harry Dougherty, three generations of Doughertys have since carried on the work of the man who said “call me Dock.” Come hungry and see why this restaurant, and this family, have survived two World Wars and the Great Depression!
James Candy Company – Whatever your pleasure, be it saltwater taffy, macaroons, or fudge, you can find it at one of James’ candy shops. They’ve come a long way since that first, humble candy stand on the newly built Atlantic City boardwalk back in 1870!
These locations are just a few of the highlights in an area that honors its past as much as it does its progress. Start at Resorts Casino Hotel near the boardwalk and travel back in time through AC’s history!