New Jersey Governor Chris Christie plans to make two historic announcements on Wednesday — one at the Meadlowlands and one in front of Boardwalk Hall. Overhauling the casino industry is one of the topics he will discuss.
Update: Wednesday, July 21, Noon:
To read the full "Report of the Governor's Advisory Commission on New Jersey Gaming, Sports and Entertainment: An Economic Recovery Plan for the State of New Jersey" click here.
To read our report on Gov. Christie's Atlantic City Press Conference go here.
NJ State Sen. Steve Sweeney and Sen. Jeff Van Drew were both on the Don Williams Show this morning on WOND radio 1400AM.
Both senators had positive things to say about Governor Chris Christie's recently revealed plans to overhaul Atlantic City's casino industry and go out swinging and not let the industry "flounder."
Van Drew noted that making Atlantic City safer, cleaner — including the Boardwalk — and more enticing to investors are things that have to be done. Meanwhile, Sweeney said he was "disappointed" in the Governor's proposal, saying that after "six months of secret meetings," he felt the proposal lacked many facets, adding that he could have taken a walk on the A.C. Boardwalk and come up with the plan in "five minutes."
He added that the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) has had the authority to do some of the things in Christie's proposal, which he will address the media and public with at 2pm in front of Boardwalk Hall Wednesday. Sweeney added that he does not have faith in government takeovers and that New Jersey is not capable of fixing the problems facing Atlantic City.
On the other hand, Van Drew stressed that being more aggressive in terms of making Atlantic City a true destination resort is a must and that the state, in his opinion, is basically trying to do what is best for the state as a whole, while not cannibalizing Atlantic City and not thinking in terms of "North or South Jersey."
Van Drew added that the "devil is in the details," and that he, as well as the entire state, is waiting to hear exactly what Gov. Christie is proposing. (See more below on the proposal, the news of which broke yesterday around 5pm with a Star-Ledger Web report.)
Here is the latest from the Star-Ledger.
This is what we know now. Wednesday afternoon we'll know much more.
The Newark Star-Ledger's Web site reported late this afternoon that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will make a major announcement on Wednesday, July 21, regarding a state takeover of the Atlantic City casino district and possible sale of the Meadowlands Racetrack.
It was later reported that Gov. Christie will be holding a press conference on Wednesday, July 21, at 2pm outside of Boardwalk Hall on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. The report also noted that Christie will be unveiling his overhaul plans at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford at 10:30am.
By the time he arrives in Atlantic City, some of Christie's plans will doubtlessly be out of the bag.
Before, during and after this historic press conference for the city of Atlantic City and its people, businesses and civil servants, the topics of Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) will come up.
And so will, as is expected in the quickly churned-out Web updates throughout the state's Internet media-sphere following the original Star-Ledger report, the issues of Casino Reinvestment Development Authority money staying in Atlantic City, the state taking over certain districts in Atlantic City — including in municipal and tourism related facets — and possibly the next of Atlantic City's many major transformations through the years.
As the Star-Legder reports, "Christie, following the recommendations of a commission he established earlier this year, seeks to transform Atlantic City into a more family-friendly destination, capitalizing on the beach and boardwalk and looking to make over blighted stretches that border the casinos. The state would control everything within the district, from police presence to trash collection."
The newspaper's Web site also reported that the reactions to the news of Christie's planned announcements have been mixed.
"Politicians with a deep roots in the city or neighboring communities greeted the initiative with varying degrees of caution and excitement."
On a sizzling hot Boardwalk Wednesday Governor Chris Christie did his best to say that the state was looking to help Atlantic City, not take over. “I’m here to extend the hand of partnership to the city,” Christie said. "We are entering into this public private partnership because we have to remake ourselves. We want to make Atlantic City a place where families and businesses want to be and want to come back to again and again.”
"I get offended when the governor and others advocate that we need an increased police presence on the Boardwalk to create the ‘perception’ that the city is safe, because the reality is that the Boardwalk is safe. But even to address just the ‘perception’ [of the city’s tourists] they advocate more resources. What about the neighborhoods?"
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