If you’ve been to Atlantic City in the, well, past 30 years, you know that the town is need of a massive makeover. Heck, it needs more than touch-up work. It needs to be gutted. Enter Governor Christie to the rescue. New Jersey just announced a total overhaul of the city, including who is in charge legally, who is in charge practically, a new direction, and a rededicated drive.
To be more accurate, NJ will be taking over just the gaming and entertainment district, not the entire city. But for us non-residents, this is the part we are most concerned with anyway. Among the changes are that the gaming/entertainment district will become its own city (albeit within the rest of the city of AC — think the Vatican), local police no longer will be charged with protection, garbage disposal responsibility will reside with the state, and gaming regulations will be updated to make them in-line with those of Nevada (i.e., looser).
These are much needed and long overdue upgrades for AC. Hopefully it is not too late. AC faces strong competition from every direction (except east, since it is on the ocean). The new Pennsylvania casinos are a stone’s throw away, Yonkers has added slots, Mohegan/Foxwoods have expanded greatly recently, the Shinneock tribe soon will be getting a casino, and Delaware has broadened its gambling. What none of these places have, however, is miles of beautiful beaches. Vegas is hot, and so usable year round. But AC has the water. Granted it’s usable for only a few months each year, but the water should be made a major focal point of the destination. People should want to fly to AC to wine, dine, gamble, and swim. Water sports (surfing, windsurfing, paddle surfing, swimming, jet skiing, etc.), fishing, piers with restaurants/bars, etc. should be everywhere. Every great military leader knows that you must use your environment to your advantage. Atlantic City is under attack. Use the water.