The Borgata shows a new hand

In an effort to make guests' experiences more "distinctive," the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J., is undergoing a $51 million face-lift that includes refurbishing poker and guest rooms.

The Borgata opened in 2003, but hotel officials said it was time to freshen up.

"Having such high customer volumes and almost 50 percent of the poker market share in Atlantic City, it was simply time," said Joe Lupo, the hotel's senior vice president of operations.

Renovations to the poker room, which opened in 2006, include new carpeting throughout the 21,500-square-foot area and installation of 23 flat-screen TVs.

The hotel also introduced The Boardroom, a high-limit poker lounge that requires a minimum buy-in of $10,000. The room is decorated in dark wood with plush seating, four 60-inch LED flat-screen TVs and personal lockers.

"It was meant to provide a more private and exclusive setting, where the biggest decisions are made and the most prominent of players strives to garner a seat," Lupo said.

The bulk of the hotel renovation, expected to be completed by July, is the floor-by-floor redesign of the more than 1,500 guest rooms.

Their new decor features neutral grays highlighted with bursts of bright berry. Metal lamps and wooden headboards have cut-out floral details and magenta swirls add color to the carpet. Bedside tables, desks and dressers are made from English sycamore. Each room has 300-count Egyptian cotton linens, a 46-inch flat-screen TV and Wi-Fi connections.

Providing what Lupo calls an "everything under one roof" Las Vegas-style casino concept, the Borgata includes a dining experience with three Iron Chefs — Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay and Geoffrey Zakarian — nightlife and entertainment.

This summer's concert lineup includes Sting, James Taylor, Sarah McLachlan, Santana and Keith Urban.

For more information on the Borgata, go to