ATLANTIC CITY — The year 2011 was quite an eventful one for Atlantic City and the region, with several wheels set in motion with hopes that a cleaner, safer and more attractive-to-developers-and-tourists Atlantic City will take shape when the smoke clears in 2012.
Some of the major changes during 2011 included the restart of construction on the Revel project, with a 2012 opening date slated. (Some predict it may open as soon as mid-March, but May 2012 is still the officially stated planned debut of the mega resort.)
In other major developments, the Steel Pier was purchased from Trump Entertainment Resorts, with plans by its new owners to expand the family amusement park on the Boardwalk and bring back some of the magic of the famed pier's past.
Also, word that a Hard Rock Casino — with a possible rock 'n' roll museum inside — would be coming to Atlantic City's Boardwalk was also announced, as were plans for more open-air festivals at Bader Field, following the success of the city's experiment with the promoters Starr Hill, who brought the three-day and ultra successful Dave Matthews Band Caravan to the city's former airfield in June.
In a regional shift, and one due to the still lackluster economy, New Jersey's long-time local TV and radio station, NJN, was dismantled by order of the governor, and Philadelphia's WHYY and New York's WNET took over different stations and channels formerly operated by NJN.
This change has meant less local coverage on local NPR radio stations and the former NJN TV stations with people in different parts of the states either receiving their "local" news from Philly's WHYY or New York's WNET.
An outcome of the media shift has led to more South Jersey and Atlantic City coverage on WHYY and its Newsworks.rg Web site, but a great deal less localized public broadcast coverage overall.
In a story Thursday, Dec. 22, on Newsworks.org,, former NJN newsman Phil Gregory writes a report on Atlantic City's "revival," quoting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as saying the following on the Revel resort.
"It is an extraordinary facility, and it is going to draw tens of thousands of people to Atlantic City just to see it. When they get there, I hope that they're going to find — and I trust what they're going to find — is a cleaner and a safer Atlantic City because of what we've done with the tourism district and the policing."
Christie also notes in the report that he hopes other casinos in town will be inspired to reinvest in their respective properties, and that new marketing efforts by the 2011-created Atlantic City Alliance, will also help attract more visitors to town.
"More and more people are going to be hearing about Atlantic City because of the partnership between the casinos and the government and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority [CRDA] in order to market and advertise it," the governor said. "It's significantly more money than was otherwise going to regulatory issues and supporting horse racing."
One of the biggest moves in 2011 regarding Atlantic City came when the CRDA contracted some of the top firms in the country to devise a master plan for the state-run tourism district, another 2011 endeavor to boost the local economy and survive with gaming competition what it is now in neighboring states.
The state's master plan for the Atlantic City tourism district is due Feb. 1.
Happy New Year, Atlantic City.
New ownership plans an ambitious, but brief bill of fare, characterized as “distinctly American. A place where a lot of different things happen.”
In 2013, let’s ask ourselves what we’re doing or not doing to contribute to the good, and what we’re doing or not doing to contribute to the bad.
If nothing else, 2012 was a year of partnerships and coming together in the Atlantic City region.
Although A.C. tourism has taken a well-publicized hit based on increased competition elsewhere, funnel cake continues to enhance the saltwater air, rolling chairs move like motorized vehicles, and the resort continues to offer amenities that landlocked gambling boxes simply cannot.
"It was a little bit of a culture shock coming from Las Vegas, as you can imagine. But then when I actually spent some time [in Atlantic City] and spent some time in competitors' casinos, I was pleasantly surprised and I feel that, you know, being involved in Revel is a very exciting piece of history for Atlantic City and I think will change how people look and perceive the market."
Although the Tourism District Master Plan is due Feb. 1, it won't be presented to the public on that date. However, the CRDA will present the master plan to the public on Monday, March 26, at noon.
I asked some of the special people in my life why we should NOT make resolutions and got some funny and enlightening answers other than the obvious one — that many of us don’t keep them.
A look back at what happened in the Atlantic City area in 2011.
Here are a few ideas for having fun on NYE and still keeping some of that cash Aunt Bea gave you for Christmas.
ATLANTIC CITY — John Palmieri, the new head of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, comes to Atlantic City like no other executive director of the authority ever has. Palmieri, who was head of the Boston Redevelopment Authority from 2007 up until earlier this year, and has headed redevelopment and economic development in other cities such as Charlotte, North Carolina; Providence, Rhode Island; and Hartford, Connecticut, certainly has the qualifications and background for the job. But so have other CRDA directors. What’s different is the CRDA he’ll be heading. Never in the authority’s history has the role of the CRDA been so large. An agency created to build housing in Atlantic City and...
Transformation — It's a buzz word that only refers to the overall vision of Landry's Inc., the parent company of Golden Nugget, but also ties in nicely with the major shifts taking shape in Atlantic City as a whole.
Recent developments in Atlantic City have left the city in a good news/bad news cycle that leaves both room for hope and pessimism in the city at the same time.
The Atlantic City area had a year that had people looking so far forward, it was almost easy to forget what was actually happening right now. Mired in recession and reeling from new competition, Atlantic City and southern New Jersey seemed to just want to hunker down and wait for better times....
In this economic climate, optimism about Atlantic City’s future can swing as wildly as the stock market does on each little bit of economic news. The city still faces growing out-of-state competition, gaming revenues are still down and the country’s persistent economic problems are keeping any tourists destination’s hopes for a rebound low.
Casino Club & Lounge Entertainment
Taste of Revel Returns