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Florida Firm Buys Claridge Hotel At Bally’s

A Florida hotel company has reached a deal to buy the Claridge hotel tower portion of Bally’s Atlantic City, but the casino itself is not part of the sale.

Atlantic City casinos
Flickr User Lisa Andres

TJM Properties, Inc., a Clearwater, Fla. hotel operator, announced Tuesday that it’s buying the 500-room Claridge Hotel Tower. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

“We are very pleased with TJM Properties’ extensive experience and its plan to keep the hotel open and operating while it upgrades the rooms, installs a new front desk and restaurant,” said Kevin Ortzman, senior vice president of Bally’s, Caesars Atlantic City and the Showboat Casino-Hotel, three of the four Atlantic City casinos owned by Caesars Entertainment Inc. The fourth is Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City.

“Through its investment, TJM will be adding non-gaming amenities that will enhance the experience of guests of the Claridge, Bally’s and the entire city,” Ortzman said.

The sale is expected to close within 90 days.

The Claridge used to be a stand-alone casino before it was bought by the company that owns Bally’s and three other Atlantic City casinos.

The Claridge opened in 1930 and, at 370 feet, was the tallest building in New Jersey until 1989.

The smallest casino in the city, its motto was “Smaller Is Friendlier.”

“We are excited about the great opportunity to own and operate this magnificent historic hotel,” said Matt McCarthy of TJM Properties.

Katie Dougherty, a spokeswoman for Caesars Entertainment, said the casino itself will not change hands.

“They’re looking at non-gaming amenities, entertainment, things like that,” she said. “They never mentioned anything about wanting a casino license.”

TJM Properties operates 10 hotels in the Tampa Bay area, including three under the Quality Inn, Baymont Inn and Howard Johnson flags. The company also owned and operated more than 19 senior living communities with over 2,500 units. In August, they sold 15 of the senior living properties for more than $200 million.

So far this year, Bally’s has won $192.6 million from gamblers, down nearly 20 percent from the same period in 2012. It ranks fifth among Atlantic City’s 12 casinos in terms of the amount of money won from gamblers.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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