Our vision for Resorts World was to create a vibrant venue with entertainment options that appeal to a broad audience. Through our collaboration with JCJ Architecture, that vision has become a reality, and now one of the greatest cities in the world has a gaming and entertainment destination it can call its own.
Mike Speller, (former) President of Resorts World Casino New York City
Opened in October of 2011 to wide acclaim, Resorts World Casino New York City has been recognized as the “Top Slot Revenue Generator in the United States.” In 2012, Resorts World Casino New York brought in a record of nearly $700M in revenue and attracted 10 million visitors. The property has re-invigorated the surrounding community by providing more than 1,700 jobs in addition to the tremendous tax revenue generated for the State of New York.
Background & Context
At 1,086,000 square feet, Resorts World Casino New York City is the largest entertainment center in New York City's metro area and the city's only casino. Developed and operated by Malaysian-based Genting Group, the project is the first company-owned U.S. venture for the leading global leisure and hospitality corporation. Located in Queens on the site of the legendary Aqueduct Racetrack, this unique project serves as a prime example of the JCJ Architecture team's ability to transform an existing property into something new and spectacular.
This facility provides more than 1,000,000 square feet of entertainment on multiple levels, providing 5,500 machines for all levels of play with three distinct, themed casinos: Times Square, Fifth Avenue and the members-only Crockford’s Club. Twelve restaurants and six lounges offer everything from upscale fine dining to casual New York favorites. The facility features live entertainment at the 360 Bar and the “Central Park” conference and event center provides the largest event space in all five boroughs.
JCJ provided guidance on complex regulatory issues and worked with officials and agencies including the New York Port Authority, State and City of New York, New York State Lottery and the New York Racing Authority.
Following Genting's design philosophy, the JCJ team abandoned the traditional, windowless casino in favor of a brighter aesthetic that is more vibrant and uplifting.
Resorts World Casino New York City, designed to be ‘uniquely New York,’ subtly incorporates design elements that celebrate many of the most iconographic features of the city. Each of the casino’s three levels reflects a distinctive atmosphere inspired by a New York City landmark:
Times Square Casino: Located on the first floor, this casino evokes the energy of Times Square with dramatic interactive digital billboards, streaming video displays presenting music videos and sporting events, and Bar 360 – a multi-level entertainment venue, featuring the largest video screen of its kind in the nation. An outdoor terrace extends beyond Bar 360 and the Aqueduct Buffet, providing patrons with similar views of Aqueduct Racetrack from which past visitors cheered famed champions Secretariat, Man O’ War and Seabiscuit.
Fifth Avenue Casino: Positioned on the second floor, this casino features high-stakes gaming set amidst an elevated level of refinement and luxury. Upscale dining offerings include Genting Palace and RW Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. The Liberty Bar provides guests an exciting view of the first-floor entertainment as well as the "Light of Nations," a 60-foot crystal chandelier with 193 hand-blown glass balls etched with the name of every nation recognized by the United Nations. This feature also celebrates the diverse culture of the surrounding area of Queens, where approximately 170 different languages are spoken.
Central Park: The third floor features an expansive 70,000-square-foot event space, the largest in Queens, and is inspired by Central Park’s open spaces, verdant colors, and natural textures. The space includes a central performance area for high-profile events and can also be segmented for more intimate gatherings such as weddings and private receptions.
The facility incorporated flexible design elements to accommodate future modifications while also preserving the building's existing structural integrity, such as incorporating its numerous columns into the overall geometry of the space. Other design highlights include:
- A climate-controlled bridge to the Aqueduct A train subway station provides direct access to Manhattan and the AirTrain transit system to nearby Kennedy International Airport. The location is also easily accessible from La Guardia airport, rail transport, and major highways.
- A five-level, 2,365-space parking garage with bus drop-off area.
- 5,000 video lottery terminals and electronic table games
- Sustainable design strategies and materials throughout the project, exceeding New York's energy efficiency standards (Executive Order 111).
Results and Recognition
From June 2012 to June 2013, Aqueduct matched a quarter of Atlantic City's total gaming revenue from its dozen casinos: $729.2 million compared with A.C.'s $2.9 billion.
Aqueduct Casino has created 1,700 permanent jobs, 1,200 of them hires from Queens. About 69 percent of its gross gaming revenue goes back to the state.
"Although there are no formal studies as far as the overall economic impact, on all levels it's been positive," said Rob MacKay, director of the Queens Tourism Council. "Resorts World has been a tremendous neighbor for the entire borough."
Winner, Queens Chamber of Commerce 2012 Building Award
for properties that promote excellence in design for the betterment of the community.
Resorts World has been featured in Casino Journal and Casino Enterprise Management magazines and presented as a case study on reinventing existing buildings at Global Gaming Expo.