Hard Rock vice president of community relations and governmental affairs

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ATLANTIC CITY —Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City officials say they want to be more than just another resort destination in the city — they want to foster a long-term relationship with residents and businesses.

As part of that commitment, on Wednesday they announced the appointment of an executive who will serve as a community liaison.

Rob Lee, former community outreach coordinator for Joseph Jingoli & Son, has been appointed vice president of community relations and governmental affairs for Hard Rock. Lee has spent more than a decade with Jingoli, whose principle is one of the partners in the Hard Rock project. His resume includes recent outreach work associated with the Stockton University Gateway campus.

The announcement was made during a planning and development meeting at City Hall.

“I’m excited about the position,” said Lee, adding he wants to support residents and small businesses in the city. “My goal is to be a part of the community and continue to be a part of the community. You will see my face in this community.”

“What I got the most out of, personally, is the commitment Hard Rock makes to being a good neighbor and citizen,” said Matt Harkness, property president of Hard Rock. Harkness said part of that process was recognizing that community outreach is a “full-time” job and requires a dedicated individual with existing ties to the city. He called Lee an “obvious choice.”

Wednesday’s meeting provided residents an opportunity to hear directly from the principles of Hard Rock, which included Harkness and Jingoli, about the progress of the project. Harkness said the opening date is anticipated to be in the summer, but he did not give a more detailed timeline. He said “the process is going along extremely well” and assured residents that “every inch” of the former Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort was being rebuilt as part of the $500 million project.

“We are moving at a pace that is pretty much unheard of,” Jingoli said.

Councilman Kaleem Shabazz, chairman of the planning and development committee, praised the principles for sharing a vision of a “new rendition of Atlantic City.”

“We’re glad that they believe in Atlantic City and that they see that Atlantic City is a place to invest,” Shabazz said.

Staff Writer

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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