Atlantic City looking past Casinos for Revival

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Atlantic City has been doing everything imaginable lately to draw visitors to their casinos and increase revenue. And these efforts have centered on everything from opting for smaller future casinos to building the massive $2.4 billion Revel. With tourism numbers still dwindling, Atlantic City and the state of New Jersey have been focusing more on a new approach: build up everything outside of the casinos.

In all, New Jersey is expected to spend untold millions on revitalizing Atlantic City and increasing ad campaigns. Steel Pier, which houses a number of amusement park rides, is set to receive a $100 million makeover through this revamping effort. A few other projects involve upgrades at both the Atlantic City Historical Museum and Atlantic City Arts Center, adding a public art setup on the Boardwalk, and creating a stronger barrier on the Boardwalk to combat beach erosion.

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Kevin DeSanctis, who’s the CEO of Revel, discussed the recent cleanup effort by saying, “Everybody recognizes that the real future of Atlantic City rests in making the pie bigger, not in just cutting up the pie.” He added, “The only way to do that is to figure out a way to add more amenities and more non-gaming amenities so this really evolves into a much broader regional destination.”

Some of these non-gaming amenities that haven’t been discussed include concerts, upgraded shopping, and more fine dining establishments. In theory, this all sounds like an excellent plan that could increase the number of annual visitors to Atlantic City. However, the massive effort by no means guarantees anything because there’s heavy competition in both the nearby state of Pennsylvania and New York City. So it will take some time before Atlantic City is able to realize the fruits of their labor.

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