'This is the perfect spot to create Atlantic City's first gay hotel.'
ATLANTIC CITY — There are many investment opportunities in Atlantic City right now.
Jose Rivera Sinclair and I are collecting investors for many different projects to improve our city.
We must be the driving force, and lead the casinos and the CRDA. Investments which finance dreams are those same loans that built our nation.
And, I think the best place to start would be The New World Columbus Hotel, named after America's original dreamer.
I toured the Columbus Hotel Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. The current owner is spending close to $200k sprucing up the exterior, replacing windows, roof, and generally shoring up the building to stop the city from knocking it down.
This structure must be saved.
I was five my first time in the Columbus Hotel during the March storm of 1962. Margate was underwater and under siege. My parents found higher ground, and a spot that was being monitored.
My mother and five kids sought refuge inside the hotel's thick walls. My father and elder brother John stayed behind to bail out the basement, and protect the house.
Things I remember include a massive dining room, crowded with hundreds of people and a huge ballroom with great red drapes that ran from ceiling to floor. We were young, and on a great adventure. That storm wasn't a hardship, it was a vacation to me.
The tile work in the lobby is Old-World craftsmanship at its best. Current plans are to strip the upstairs to the steel, and make 74 efficiencies out of the existing 99 rooms.
This is the perfect spot to create Atlantic City's first gay hotel.
All large cities have them. Statistically, gays spend 175-percent more on vacation then the general leisure tourist, and seek those establishments who market directly to them, and 80 percent of self-identified GLBTs plan on vacationing this year, at least once.
The Dec. 8, 2010 edition of Time magaizine reported that rhe GLBT travel market is worth an annual $63 billion in the U.S. alone, according to consumer-research firm Community Marketing Inc.
Until 1969, the Columbus was owned by the Woulfe family. Family member, Maura Woulfe Schubert, now residing outside Philly, grew up working the front desk and is thrilled to hear of my idea for the Columbus.
"Geoff, it was beautiful... I remember one year, on Easter Sunday, a line of 1,400 people waiting in line for breakfast after Mass across the street."
In those days, Midtown was the heart of Atlantic City. St. Nicholas of Tolentine Roman Catholic Parish counted 3,000 families. Today, they count 300 members, and from their back doors give food baskets amounting to 35,000 meals a year. Yep... seems to me, the Columbus is a great place to start rebirth.
The first immigrant, leading us again to the promised land.
Geoff Rosenberger is a Broker Associate at Marketplace Realty. Read more of the new acweekly.com columnist, Atlantic City resident and self-proclaimed visionary's "Geoff's Page," including local snap shots, thoughts, Atlantic City news, random musings, GLBT-related news, The Real Report, and happenings every week — only at acweekly.com.
E-mail Geoff at email@example.com or call him at 609-385-7585.
Nothing about real estate is like it should be, but it’s better than you might think.
As I read through the close to 100 posted comments, thoughts came to mind about our responsibility as citizens, Atlantic City residents, and Americans.
Congress is considering legislation that would mostly stop lending to any homebuyer who does not put down 20 percent toward the purchase of their home. QRMs (Qualified Residential Mortgages) are being argued by the FDIC as a solution to the weak housing market.
Sometimes, recessions can present unexpected opportunities. For members of the Atlantic City region's gay and lesbian community, what might be called a civil rights struggle, an attempt to form a real community or even just an effort to create some kind of gay social life in the area, also has one other good thing going for it.
'Everything we do as a society is based on love. I want to welcome everyone. Our arms are open to all aspects of our culture.'
This GLBT population consistently frequents areas/genres that cater to multiple orientations. They are not limited to the old definition, but are more so driven to openly enjoy themselves in environments that are mutually sensitive — and not offensive.
Funny thing is, it’s the casinos and land speculators who first closed and knocked down gay businesses that thrived for 100 years in Atlantic City. Now, money’s tight, and they’re sorry they did.
The Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance, the organization will launch a new Web site on Thursday, Oct. 1.