ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Casino is staffing up before its opening next month.
The casino formerly known as the Trump Taj Mahal hired its 3,000th employee on Wednesday, and eventually plans to hire about 3,500.
Leonard Coleman, a craps dealer who lives in Atlantic City, was honored at a ceremony Wednesday marking the casino’s 3,000th hire.
The casino has thus far received over 20,000 applications.
Hard Rock, owned by the Seminole Indian tribe of Florida, is re-doing the former Taj Mahal and rebranding it as a music-themed resort on the Boardwalk ahead of its June 28 opening.
It is one of two shuttered casinos due to reopen this summer. The former Revel casino plans to reopen as the Ocean Resort Casino, and it, too, is in the midst of hiring staff.
Ocean Resort has not yet announced an opening date.
Together, the two casinos will return about 6,500 of the 11,000 jobs that were lost in a series of casinos closures in Atlantic City since 2014. Revel and the Taj Mahal were among the five casinos that shut their doors between 2014 and 2016.
Hard Rock has stripped the Indian-themed domes and minarets that defined the property that now-President Donald Trump opened in 1990. It will replace them with a giant electric guitar at the casino’s entrance, and will pepper the property with music memorabilia from the largest such collection in the world, including items from New Jersey artists like Bon Jovi and Whitney Houston.
It also began installing slot machines on the casino floor late last week in preparation for the opening.
The casino recently announced it will feature over 300 nights of live entertainment in its first year.
Follow Wayne Parry at