Hard Rock casino replacing Atlantic City president

ATLANTIC CITY — Less than three months after opening its doors to the public, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is making a leadership change.

On Nov. 1, Matt Harkness, president of the Atlantic City property, will be replaced by Joe Lupo, current president at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, the company announced Monday. No official reason was given for the change.

Harkness was named president of the Atlantic City property last spring. Hard Rock’s Atlantic City casino opened on June 27.

“I would like to thank Matt for his contribution to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and appreciate his efforts leading the successful opening of this exceptional property,” said Jon Lucas, COO of Hard Rock International.

Hard Rock entered the Atlantic City market with high expectations. But, in its first two full months of operation, the $500 million property has found itself in the middle of the pack in total gaming revenue among the resort’s nine casinos.

Lupo is returning to Atlantic City, where he previously served as senior vice presidents of operations of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa until November 2016, when he left to take the position with Hard Rock.

“Joe has been a talented and proven leader at our Tampa property and previously at Borgata, creating significant property success in both markets, said Jim Allen, CEO and chairman of Hard Rock International. “Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will strive to be a leader in this market with a superior product, exceptional customer experience and the most talented rock stars in the industry.”

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