ATLANTIC CITY — Elvis is expected to be in the building pretty soon to deal a hand or two of blackjack.
Bally’s customers also shouldn’t be surprised if Madonna, Lady Gaga, the Blues Brothers and other celebrities also mingle with the gambling crowd or break into a song or dance.
Actually, they would be celebrity impersonators. Bally’s is partnering with the Legends in Concert show to give the casino a more exciting, Hollywood-like vibe by using celebrity lookalikes.
“Legends is the ultimate, feel-good show,” said Mark Kogan, who handles marketing and promotions for Legends in Concert, the live musical revue featuring celebrity impersonators. “The partnership with Bally’s is going to be wonderful because it extends that feel-good experience.”
The Bally’s name will stay on the building, but parts of the casino will take on a Legends theme, including the decor, memorabilia from the show and a special “party pit” area where employees will dress up like celebrities to deal the cards.
“It’s going to be Elvis dealing you blackjack, basically,” Bally’s spokesman Jerry Eisenband said.
Pioneered in Las Vegas, the party pit concept melds gambling with high-energy entertainment and is growing in popularity at the Atlantic City casinos. The party pits are staffed by employees who are equally adept at dealing the cards and entertaining the customers — hence their “dealer-tainer” nickname.
Bally’s is scheduled to open its Legends-themed party pit May 11, Eisenband said. Bally’s employees who work in the party pit will wear wardrobes furnished by the Legends in Concert costume department. Other Bally’s personnel, including the theater staff, front-desk employees and food servers, will periodically dress up in Legends-style costumes as part of the retheming.
“Ray Charles may show up at a certain area or at the restaurants to entertain guests. Elvis could show up,” Kogan said of the celebrity lookalikes. “At any time, something that is fun and exciting and feels good could happen.”
A Tina Turner lookalike was at Bally’s not too long ago, greeting the customers and directing them to the Total Rewards center so they could sign up for a player loyalty card.
Already, sections of Bally’s have been transformed with a Legends theme. The former Palace Theater has been changed to the Legends in Concert Theater. In addition to its Legends-inspired decor, the theater has new seats and more comfortable booths, Eisenband said.
Bally’s hopes to capitalize on a new multiyear contract for the Legends in Concert show, which features performances by an array of celebrity impersonators. Celebrating its 29th year, the Las Vegas-based extravaganza has been a staple at showrooms across the country. It is the longest-running musical revue in Atlantic City’s history, now entering its 21st year in this market, Bally’s and show officials said.
The Legends series will feature a new production set and summer lineup beginning May 25.
“2011 was a big year for Legends and Bally’s, and with this new-found partnership, 2012 guarantees to be even bigger,” said Don Marrandino, president of the Eastern Division of Caesars Entertainment Corp., owner of the Bally’s, Caesars, Harrah’s Resort and Showboat casinos in Atlantic City.
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