The Claridge Hotel (Atlantic City)
The Claridge - A Radisson Hotel is a historic hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, that opened in 1930. Beginning in 1981, Claridge's operated for many years as a casino, known first as "Del Webb's Claridge Hotel and Casino", then as "Claridge Hotel and Casino". The hotel was acquired by Bally's on December 30, 2002, as a hotel tower of Bally's Atlantic City. In February 2014, the property was acquired by TJM Properties of Clearwater, Florida, which returned the property to a stand-alone hotel without casino gambling.
|The Claridge - A Radisson Hotel|
The Claridge Hotel at night
|Former names||Del Webb’s Claridge Hotel and Casino|
Claridge Hotel and Casino
|Alternative names||The Skyscraper By The Sea|
|Location||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Address||Park Place & The Boardwalk|
|Number of rooms||400|
|Number of suites||400|
Claridge Hotel and Casino
|Opening date||July 20, 1981|
|Closing date||December 30, 2002|
|Previous names||Del Webb’s Claridge Hotel and Casino|
Located between Park Place and Indiana Avenue, with an attached parking structure extending to Ohio Avenue, the Claridge is set off the Boardwalk behind Brighton Park. The Claridge stands next to the site where the Sands Atlantic City used to be located.
The Claridge Hotel is different from most Atlantic City resorts, because it did not grow out of a modest boarding house. It was the idea of Philadelphia architect John McShain who designed the 24-story, 400-room hotel. Opened in 1930 during The Great Depression, the Claridge became the last of the great hotels built in Atlantic City near the Boardwalk; no new resorts rose in the city until the 1960s when a Howard Johnsons hotel was built along the boardwalk. Due to the Claridge's tall, slick, slender appearance it gained the nickname “The Skyscraper By The Sea".
The Claridge was a successful hotel during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Marilyn Monroe was a special guest there in the 1950s when she was a judge of the annual Miss America Pageant. Despite Atlantic City’s downturn as a premier vacation resort in the 1960s, the hotel continued to operate and survived into the casino era.
In February 1977, Claridge Associates, a group of Connecticut investors led by F. Francis D'Addario, purchased the Claridge Hotel. In 1979, they took on Del E. Webb Corporation as a partner in order to obtain financing. Del Webb owned several Nevada casinos, including The Mint Hotel and Casino in Downtown Las Vegas. The Claridge hotel was expanded with 200 new guest rooms being built; it had the distinction of being the last of the pre-casino Atlantic City hotels to be refurbished into a casino. The New Jersey Governor at the time, Brendan Byrne, had been dissatisfied with what he called “Patch and Paint” jobs of the city’s old resorts, which had been done with Resorts Atlantic City and the Dennis Hotel, which is part of Bally's Atlantic City, and he lobbied hard for the old structures to be torn down and replaced with new resorts.
Del Webb faced a difficult time obtaining a permanent license but finally obtained one in 1982. At that time, Del Webb bought out Claridge Associates' interest in the partnership.
In July 1981, the new casino opened under the name Del Webb’s Claridge Hotel and Casino (the hotel eventually became known as Del Webb’s Claridge and eventually just The Claridge). The London-themed hotel saw success early on with its multi-level casino and 600-seat showroom that featured names like Aretha Franklin, Donny & Marie, Billy Crystal, Penn & Teller, Joan Rivers, The Isley Brothers, and The 5th Dimension. As larger casinos were built in the city, the Claridge had a hard time competing as a small casino in a large market. In the 1990s, a parking garage was added.
In 2001, Park Place Entertainment purchased the property and a year later formally announced plans to merge operations with Bally's Atlantic City. As a result, the Claridge became a hotel tower for Bally's. In 2009, all of the Claridge's own restaurants ceased operation, but a small cafe, "The Corner Cafe", that continues to operate in the Gateway area that connects the Claridge Tower with Bally's.
In 2009, the Claridge rebranded its casino floor theRIDGE, and modeled the floor after a dance club, with a dance floor and DJ at its center, surrounded by table games. An extensive restoration was completed during the summer of 2010 through spring 2011, including a $3 million renovation of all hotel rooms and a $17 million facelift of the outside structure. But this was not enough to save its gambling business in the wake of a catastrophic period for Atlantic City's casinos, several of which filed for bankruptcy or closed altogether. theRIDGE ended its gambling and food operations during the winter of 2012; however, Bally's continued to use its 500 hotel rooms for guests.
On October 29, 2013, Caesars Entertainment announced that the Claridge tower was sold to TJM Properties of Clearwater, Florida. According to the statement, TJM will continue to operate the hotel and add non-gaming amenities to the property. On February 24, 2014, TJM Properties officially took ownership of the Claridge. The Claridge Hotel reopened in May 2014. The Claridge joined Radisson Hotels on October 17, 2016.
- "Claridge Atlantic City". Emporis. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- "Claridge Hotel". Skyscraperpage.com. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- Claridge Limited, In the Matter of the Application for a Casino License Cite As 10 N.J.A.R. 563 
- "Fla. firm buys Claridge Hotel from Bally's in Atlantic City". NJ.com. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
- "Bally's Atlantic City Announces Purchase of Historic Claridge Hotel Tower By Florida-Based Hotel Operator TJM Properties, Inc". Caesars Entertainment. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
- "Wayne Parry, Associated Press via philly.com, February 25, 2014".
- "Atlantic City's Landmark Claridge Hotel Joins The Expanding Radisson Brand". Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. October 27, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.