Source: Philadelphia Business Journal, Kenneth Hilario
The Valley Forge Casino Resort, to attract a wider audience amid growing competition, will give one of its towers a $6 million facelift — the first time it’s received an overhaul in more than a decade — that will add two new “super” guest rooms.
The King of Prussia-based property over the past year has been making significant investments — particularly in non-gaming amenities — including the upgrade of its event center; last year’s debut of its $600,000 investment called Valley Beach Poolside Club and a Shore-inspired food truck; and the revival of the Valley Forge Music Fair.
The latest round of investments is a $6 million complete renovation of the Casino Tower, which officials said would enhance guests’ overnight experiences, drive the casino’s growth and position the property to a wider audience.
Three of the Casino Tower’s six floors have been completed to date. The entire tower is expected to be completely renovated by the end of March 2017.
After the renovation, the Casino Tower will have two so-called super suites, 40 suites and 116 standard rooms. Renovations will include new carpeting, wall coverings, draperies, upgraded bathrooms and custom artwork.
There were no super suits prior to the renovation; the space from two deluxe rooms and one standard room was combined to create each super suite. All of the other guest rooms have been rebuilt, and the bathrooms will be built from the ground up as part of the renovation.
The casino worked with Norristown, Pennsylvania-based design-build firm StyerGroup for the endeavor.
The Casino Tower renovations would enable the casino to “better market the property as a full-amenity gaming resort destination,” Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Galle said.
The renovation comes at a time when casinos across the state and country continue to bolster their offerings and invest in major renovations with the hope of upping visitation and interest as more jurisdictions continue to add casinos, eating away at the gambling industry pie.
- SugarHouse Casino earlier this year officially opened its $164 million renovation and expansion.
- Parx Casino in Bensalem last November opened the first part of its multi-phase expansion project.
- Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack in Chester County added a 15,000-square-foot entertainment venue called The Block. The casino also opened restaurant Guy Fieri’s Philly Kitchen & Bar and will add The Market, a quick-service concept as part of its renovation that will be completed by spring 2017.
- Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa this year debuted its Borgata Beer Garden, an outdoor pool and a quick-service concept called The Marketplace Eatery. The changes were part of a $50 million property renovation announced in January. The casino also opened a $14 million nightclub.
- Tropicana Atlantic City in June this year completed its $40 million propertywide renovation. It will also open multiple culinary concepts by Philadelphia chef Jose Garces.
The Valley Forge Casino Resort, however, is in a unique position in the Philadelphia region because it is a resort as well as a casino; its revenue streams are a mix of casino, hotel, convention, food and beverage and entertainment. Not only does it compete with neighboring casinos, it also competes with other hotel properties.
Hotels across the region have also undergone multimillion-dollar renovations amid their growing competition in the lodging space, with new properties coming online and older properties’ response to that through renovations.
- The 118-room Rittenhouse Square hotel will invest $1 million to renovate the hotel’s ballroom and pre-function space, among other changes. The hotel has already undergone $15 million worth of renovations since 2012.
- The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia recently completed its $25 million renovation, which include upgrades to its 299 guest rooms and meeting spaces, and more.
- The family-owned, 51-room Penn’s View Hotel in Old City is also in the middle of its own multimillion-dollar renovation that includes hotel room and hallway updates.
- The Hyatt at the Bellevue in Center City this year also completed its $8 million renovation to 133 of its 172 guest rooms, and more.
Underutilized space within the Valley Forge Casino Resort’s Casino Tower has also been reclaimed; internal space in the tower’s core was previously used for storage but has been converted to versatile amenity rooms that can be used as dressing rooms for bridal parties, hospitality space, green rooms for entertainers or catering space.
The Valley Forge Casino Resort in October announced Eric Pearson would be its new CEO. Pearson, who has 13 years of experience in the industry, was most recently vice president of gaming and revenue enhancement at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.
Pearson earlier said said he, management and employees would identify ways to differentiate Valley Forge Casino Resort among competition, and drive loyalty and repeat visitors.
The casino in October also replaced its high-end steakhouse with another one called Revolutions.
The Valley Forge Casino Resort in June this year led the region and the state in terms of table game revenue growth last month, marking the first time it’s achieved that feat. The property saw a 32.18 percent increase over the same timeframe in 2015.