Even though it was opened just a year ago, Ocean Casino Resort became one of the most popular venues in all of Atlantic City. Immediately upon opening its doors to guests, Ocean entered a lucrative partnership with Hyatt Hotels Corporation. This team-up resulted in the 57-story resort being on par with legendary hotels, such as London’s Great Scotland Yard Hotel and the Confidante Miami Beach, amongst others.
While the partnership initially helped Ocean market itself to Hyatt’s gargantuan clientele, the deal became increasingly restrictive and prevented a wider customer base from booking rooms. There were significant marketing issues involved, but neither of the two parties decided to mention this in their respective press releases. The business relationship will be officially concluded on 31 December, 11:59 pm.
End of an Era
Ocean Casino Resort is perhaps the most renowned of the nine casinos within the limits of Atlantic City. They, along with fellow newcomer Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, spearheaded a gaming renaissance in New Jersey. Despite the initial success, both venues have been accused of cannibalizing revenue from the other seven casinos in town. This has prompted legislators to consider limiting the number of gambling venues in the city. Many industry experts believe that Hyatt’s boost of the Ocean is one of the main factors in the existing lack of competitiveness in New Jersey.
According to a report from The Press of Atlantic City, Ocean Casino Resort became increasingly dissatisfied with the marketing opportunities. Unlike other venues that partnered up with the famous hotel brand, they were rarely featured on the homepage of Hyatt’s website. This led to customers being forced to conduct additional searches for booking rooms. As such, Ocean felt that they were pushed aside in favor of resorts in other parts of the world.
The dissolution of this partnership makes perfect sense when you consider the conditions under which it was created. Formerly known as Revel Atlantic City, Ocean was seen as a risky venture in the wake of the grand reopening. They needed support and a constant influx of clients, but this became a burden as the resort saw its own brand become renowned with customers from around the globe.
Ocean Casino Resort boasted an impressive 99.6% occupancy rate in Q3 of 2019, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. As such, they encountered a problem with being a part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt. The deal with the famous hospitality company allowed Hyatt customers to receive preferential treatment when making reservations, putting them in a privileged position compared to other customers
In a press statement of their own, Ocean thanked Hyatt Hotels Corporation for “their immense help with the grand reopening and sharing their respected guests.” According to them, the reason for the partnership’s end is “continued success which resulted in a volume of customers that conflicted with the preferential treatment of Hyatt guests.”
Hyatt also thanked Ocean for their part in the partnership, with a promise that they will uphold their part of the deal until the very end, which is 31 December. After that, guests won’t be able to gain World of Hyatt points nor receive free night awards, which is basically a staple of The Unbound Collection.
Just the Beginning
Due to the high occupancy rate, experts believe that Ocean will be able to sustain their success without any additional support from big hospitality brands. The crown jewel of the venue is a 138,000 sq ft casino equipped with almost 2,000 slots and 107 gaming tables, including a state of the art sportsbook. Hyatt still technically owns Ocean’s 32,000 sq ft spa, but they promised customers that there will be no changes to this area and that it will continue to operate as usual.
Insiders with knowledge of the deal believe that this move is a precedent for a “customer first” approach. Despite the benefits it received from Hyatt, Ocean Casino Resort decided to prioritize a wider clientele that isn’t limited to those who are hunting for World of Hyatt points and rewards. It is widely believed that many other operators and brands have taken notice of this strategy.