Atlantic City facelift to begin this year by The Associated Press Friday January 04, 2008, 3:18 PM In the facelift that will gradually transform the way Atlantic City looks, 2008 promises to be the year the surgery begins. The new year will see three new hotel towers open, the Tropicana Casino and Resort will get a new owner, work will pick up on a new $2 billion casino, details on yet another new casino will be unveiled, and gambling halls may finally start to recover from the beating that out-of-state slots parlors put on them last year. It's an era of change in Atlantic City, as it struggles to reinvent itself as a hipper, national destination resort, and to fight off competition from New York and Pennsylvania slots parlors. "My only fear is that with all that happens in '08, there's not a lull in '09 and 10," said Kim Townsend, CEO of Pinnacle Atlantic City, which will build a new $1.5 billion to $2 billion casino on the site of the former Sands Casino Hotel, which it imploded last October. Figures to be released Thursday will formalize what everyone here knew since about last March: that 2007 was a year best forgotten in terms of casino revenue. It will go down as the first in the 30-year history of casino gambling here that revenues did not increase from the previous year. Part of the way Atlantic City is dealing with the revenue downturn is by adding hotel rooms. Three new casino hotel towers will open this year, adding more than 2,500 rooms to a city where it can be difficult to book a room at a casino hotel on a weekend. The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa will open its Water Club tower with 800 rooms and a host of amenities; Harrah's is opening a second tower with 941 rooms, and the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort is adding nearly 800 more in its second tower. Construction work will pick up this year on the $2 billion ocean-themed Revel casino at the end of the Boardwalk next to the Showboat. And by spring, Pinnacle Entertainment will reveal details about its Atlantic City casino.