ATLANTIC CITY-A year and a half ago, Bally’s owner Park Place Entertainment bought the adjacent Claridge Casino Hotel out of bankruptcy and began pumping money into the much smaller property. Now, the Claridge has effectively been swallowed up, ceasing to exist as a separate property. Going forward, the building, which was built back in the 1930s, will be known at the Claridge Tower at Bally’s.

With the move, Park Place has created the largest casino/hotel property in this gaming mecca–more than 1,750 rooms, some 180,000 sf of casino space and 4,000 parking spaces. Physically tying the two properties together is a new walkway, built at a cost of an estimated $25 million.

The move further entrenches Park Place’s boardwalk properties against new competition coming from the city’s Marina District, including the massive $1 billion Borgata, slated to open in the middle of next year. Park Place’s boardwalk empire now stretches from the combined Bally’s and Claridge properties, to Caesar’s, and on to the Million Dollar Pier. Most recently known as the Ocean One Mall, the latter will shortly undergo a major renovation.