The stars were shining in full force over the holiday weekend as Atlantic City hosted an unprecedented line-up of entertainment, including the grand opening of Revel.
Atlantic City hosted a giant party this past Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial kick-off of the summer season at the Jersey shore. With Revel holding its grand opening and hosting a slew of events and parties, including four shows by Beyoncé (see video below), all weekend, the city was alive with electricity and the entire region seemed to latch on to that energy. In A.C. alone, acts and personalities such as Kim Kardashian, Garbage, ZZ Top, Gretchen Wilson, Steve Winwood, Pitbull, Afrojack and others appeared. Meanwhile, the new Route 52 Causeway bridge, connecting nearby Somers Point and Ocean City — six years in the making — opened to the public with new amenities such as a bike and walking path, fishing pier and stunning views.
According to several reports, the following people were in Atlantic City over the Memorial Day holiday weekend to attend one of Beyoncé's four concerts and check out the new Revel resort:
Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah, Kim Kardashian, Brittny Gastineau, Kelly Rowland, Megan Hilty, Selita Ebanks, Ray Rice, Maria Bello, first lady Michelle Obama (and daughters Sasha and Malia) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Here is a short re-cap in photos. Look for more soon at acweekly.com and in this week's issue of Atlantic City Weekly.
The Hallucination Dance Show at Revel premiered over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The show, which is set against a digital art backdrop on the casino floor at Revel’s DigitPit, ran every 30 minutes from 7pm to 2am.
Beyoncé performing during one of her four shows at Revel's Ovation Hall. Watch video of the singer opening her Sat., May 26, show at Revel and see part 2 of a two-part Web series on the making of her "Back to Business" show at Revel. (Photos: Revel)
Entrepreneur, style icon and reality show star Kim Kardashian hosted a party at The Pool After Dark on May 27. Other celebrity hosts at the venue included Daydream and Christina Millan. (Photo: Tom Briglia)
Garbage at House of Blues
After a seven-year hiatus from the road and the studio, Garbage took the stage at the House of Blues in Atlantic City on Friday, May 25. The band made its Atlantic City debut, which was the first stop on their long-awaited tour. (Read interview here) (Photo: Craig Billow)
Gang of Outlaws Tour at Taj
On Saturday, May 26, The Gang of Outlaws Tour stopped at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. The tour features ZZ Top, Gretchen Wilson (pictured) and 3 Doors Down. (Photo: Donald Kravitz)
The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Association reported late Tuesday that big crowds were in Atlantic Ciy all weekend and that "Atlantic City was the third most popular destination for Memorial Day Weekend searches on the travel site Kayak.com, according to an article on Huffington Post, based on online searches for hotels in Atlantic City. Those searches apparently translated into actual visitors, as hotels, restaurants, retail and entertainment all experienced an outstanding Memorial Day weekend, according to reports from many local merchants."
Here are some statistics from the ACCVA:
• At Resorts Casino Hotel, occupancy and room revenue were up significantly, all restaurants experienced an increase in covers, the show “Believe: Divas in a Man’s World” was sold out on Sunday and Monday and close to capacity on Friday and Saturday, and private player events were booked to capacity.
• At Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal, hotel rooms were sold out all three nights (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), and comedian Kevin Hart’s two shows at Trump Taj Mahal were sold out as well, with more than 20,000 tickets sold. Trump Taj Mahal reports a 46% increase over last Memorial Day weekend for new player card sign-ups. They also gave out more than 4,000 pieces of salt water taffy for a “Golden Wrapper” promotion in which certain pieces of taffy contained special wrappers worth $25 to $500 bonus slot dollars.
• The Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel also was sold out every day of the long weekend, a 7% increase in occupancy compared to 2011. Likewise, Journey’s End Motel was sold out on Saturday and Sunday, and management noticed significantly more traffic on the roads than last year.
• Other indications of a strong holiday weekend include a 10% increase in vehicles parked at lots and garages operated by the South Jersey Transportation Authority. Additionally, Lucy the Elephant and Lucy’s Beach Grille exceeded last year’s numbers, with a combined 12% increase in revenue over the Friday through Monday period. “We hope this is a good indication of a successful summer season,” said Rich Helfant, Lucy’s executive director and CEO, mirroring the sentiments that other expressed.
• Web Feet Boutique and Watersports in Gardner’s Basin also experienced strong traffic on the retail front, with a continuous flow of traffic and a sales increase of about 8% over last year. Owner Dotty Webb notes that several customers commented on the high visibility of visitor ambassadors and police throughout the city and Boardwalk, one of the “safe and clean” initiatives implemented as part of the Atlantic City Tourism District Master Plan. According to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which oversees the Tourism District, the proactive approach of the Atlantic City Ambassador program -- which increased the number of Ambassadors threefold -- was well received.
Ocean City: Unlocking of Ocean and Business Persons Plunge
On Friday, May 25, the “Unlocking of the Ocean and Business Persons Plunge” took place in Ocean City. Dressed in formal business attire, participants from a wide range of professions plunged into the Atlantic Ocean and waved their “Open-for-Business” flags. The event marked the unofficial start of the 2012 “summer” season in Ocean City. (Photo: Donald Kravitz)
The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour will also stop at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on Friday, July 26, 2013.
“The club is built vertically, which, from all my years of experience and all the nightclubs I’ve viewed globally, I’ve never seen such a vertical build. "
The casino and entertainment industries and the millions of visitors expected over the next 12 weeks are each gearing up for a summer entertainment program that seems to be picking up where the packed season-launching weekend left off.
Between Friday and Monday, Atlantic City will experience the single biggest weekend of entertainment the town has ever seen, and with the most demographically diverse collection of artists, too. Few cities anywhere can match the quality, quantity and calibre of shows this weekend, if ever.
It’s Memorial Day weekend in Ocean City and that can only mean one thing: The ocean that has been chilled all winter long is about to be warmed up and set free, unlocked for a new summer season.
A handy 2012 guide with information on Atlantic County and Cape May County beaches, including beach tag fees, where you can fish, surf, bring your dog, go kayaking, play volleyball and more.
“We just flew in from Paris and I’ve forgotten how draining travel can be. The simple act of packing can take something out of you. I’m tired. I don’t know how much people realize that this is such a grind. It’s a rewarding grind but it’s a grind.”
Plus Revel debuts with official opening over Memorial Day weekend and Drew Toonz.
Revel has released a behind-the-scenes video on the making of Beyonce's "Back to Business" show, which will be the singer's first performance since giving birth in early January.
“We’ll play anywhere they’ll have us. The more places, the better. After all these years it’s still something I desperately want to do. You want to keep having fun.”
Atlantic City’s animated Memorial Day weekend scene is back, so after your annual backyard barbecue, check out some of the festive findings we’ve tallied ...
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