ATLANTIC CITY — With the grand opening of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City fast approaching, the resort unveiled a new preview center Monday in the Tanger Outlets to offer guests a first-hand look at what to expect when the $500 million project opens this summer.

Close to 50 people came out on a gloomy, cold day to see Hard Rock’s newest venture in the city. Attendees were given complimentary drum sticks and tambourines bearing the Hard Rock logo and distributed by radio station WMGM-FM 103.7, which broadcast live from the event.

Todd Moyer, senior vice president of marketing for the Hard Rock casino, said the kickoff event was intended to give people an opportunity to sign up for Wild Card Rewards memberships, enter to win a 2018 Tesla Model S, view items of memorabilia from the company’s 85,000-piece collection and meet with employees and staff. Moyer said the preview center gives Hard Rock a presence in the city before the crown jewel opens on the Boardwalk in a few months.

“It really truly is hanging a shingle in town, our first one in Atlantic City. We’re building a much bigger one down the street, but having a place we can call home is pretty cool,” Moyer said. “Atlantic City is on a roll. Things are really looking bright for this town.”

In February, Hard Rock welcomed interested applicants to the floor of the Showboat Atlantic City for the first round of job interviews. The career events targeted many former Trump Taj Mahal employees who had been employed at least 30 days before the property closed in October 2016.

The company also sent out 1,600 letters and emails to people who formerly worked there, and 1,400 people responded to schedule a time slot to come for interviews over two days, according to a previous statement by Matt Harkness, president of Hard Rock’s Atlantic City property.

On Monday, Shakir Salamm, 42, of Atlantic City, was on hand to witness what his future employer has in mind for his hometown. Salaam said he will start a new job this summer as a house-person for the casino hotel after attending a job fair at the Showboat earlier this year.

“This (project) is breathing life back into the city,” Salaam said. “We need it. And the more jobs, the better.”

Donna Danielson, general manger of Tanger Outlets, said the partnership with Hard Rock benefits businesses and residents in Atlantic City.

“We’re excited to have this partnership working together to help the city,” she said. “They’re new to the city, and we’ve been here, so we just want to help them.”

Chuck Mackintosh, director of marketing operations for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, said he expects more events at the preview center as the grand opening of the casino hotel nears.

“Hopefully, we’ll need to hire more people,” he joked.

The Hard Rock preview center will be open seven days a week. It will open at 11 a.m. every day and close at 7 p.m. during the week and 5 p.m. on the weekend.

The center is located at 101 N. Michigan Ave.

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I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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