Despite Financial Woes, Atlantic City Gears Up for Summer
PHOTO: Sunset at Steel Pier (Photo courtesy of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority)
Atlantic City is trying to focus on gearing up for the beginning of its Memorial Day Weekend tourism season, but word on the street — and in the news — is that the city needs to get its fiscal house in order. What does that mean for tourists?
Atlantic City isn’t letting its finances get in the way of a busy summer season and city officials want everyone to know that its attractions are still open and the city is ready to welcome holidaymakers.
In the Headlines
Recent news about Atlantic City has focused on bankruptcy and financial insolvency, but, on Monday, a deal was reached between city and state lawmakers to prevent Atlantic City from running out of money ahead of the holiday weekend.
An ongoing political fight almost made the threat of a state takeover of the city a reality, but the deal reached yesterday puts the city on a safe footing – for now. Officials have five months to come up with a workable, five-year financial plan to get Atlantic City’s finances in order or risk losing the city’s sovereignty.
Busy Summer Ahead
After a deal was reached, city officials focused more on news that will drive visitors to Atlantic City’s shores and world famous boardwalk. In a meeting with local institutions, Atlantic City mayor Don Guardian focused more on what will be going on over the summer months than on politics. Guardian spent time promoting some of the season’s biggest concerts, including Jimmy Buffet, Zac Brown and Florida-Georgia Line.
Beyond the summer season, Steel Pier president Anthony Catanoso unveiled one of the gondola cars that will be part of a 227-foot-high observation wheel at the pier – a project that was announced a few years ago. Construction plans for the wheel are ready to go and will begin after Labor Day so as not to disrupt the summer season.
Atlantic City’s tourism officials have also been gearing up for a busy summer season, noting that several renovations and new attractions will be launching for visitors.
"Our resorts have been working overtime to provide room renovations, new restaurants and special events,” said John Palmieri, executive director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), which operates the Atlantic City Tourism District. “Among other exciting events, our annual Atlantic City Airshow will be held on Aug. 17, and the Miss America Competition will return on Sept. 11.”
The list of new attractions from the CRDA includes the following:
New nightclubs at Borgata, Tropicana and The Playground
New light shows at Tropicana
Saturday night fireworks at Tropicana
A new beer garden and outdoor pool at Borgata
A new Marketplace eatery at Borgata
New conference facilities and hotel room renovations at resorts
A new indoor-outdoor Boardwalk Saloon at Bally’s
Live camera views, including a “selfie-cam” at Absecon Lighthouse
A major expansion at Dock’s Oyster House
A new restaurant from celebrity chef Michael Symon at Borgata
Atlantic City’s first-ever Burger Bash at Golden Nugget
Bayview Tower hotel room renovations at Harrah’s
Temple Tower hotel room renovations at Caesars
The Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall has transformed into the Adrian Phillips Theater
“Our guests can look forward to enjoying clean beaches, top entertainers in Boardwalk Hall and casino showrooms, luxurious spas, brand name shopping and, of course, miles of well-groomed Boardwalk to explore along with attractions the whole family can enjoy,” said Palmieri.
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