There has been so many sad stories about Atlantic City and the Casinos closing that we decided to set the record straight. Yes, casinos have closed and many people have lost jobs and that is terrible.
That is something the casino analysts have been predicting for many years. Atlantic City was created to be a gaming destination with no competition on the East Coast. Now, there are 30 casinos in the surrounding area, all wanting a piece of the gaming pie. We no longer have a monopoly.
Hence, Atlantic City Re-invents itself one more time. Atlantic City has had so many incarnations it is not even funny. Just look at Boardwalk Empire and you can see a few of them right there.
The Family Friendly Seaside Resort and the Lively Prohibition Era where anything goes are being featured this season on the Show’s Farewell Year. Several declines and several re-births, that is what Atlantic City does. This last run, the Casino Era, had a 30 year run. That run was made possible because we had an East Coast Monopoly on Gaming. That Monopoly is long gone. Now it is time to pay the piper.
One thing we did not do right when we had that attention as the gaming mecca of the East Coast is that we told the world we had all these casinos but we did not tell them much else. The short term thinking of the day was “come here, lose your money and go home”. The casinos were running 90% occupancy and making money hand over fist so it appeared to be a sound approach. Not that everyone agreed with that but when you are the very big dog in a destination you call the shots. It is just that simple.
During the casino monopoly era the Atlantic City Region Golf Industry lived in the very large shadow of the golf industry. Since the casinos wanted you to lose and go home, the idea of getting out of the building for 6 hours to golf did not find any very much support from the Casino Industry. One exception to that rule was Tropicana Casino who always has been a friend to the Golf Industry and continues to do that to this day.
Fast forward to today, all the casinos support golf as well as shopping, nightlife, shows, dining and anything else that puts heads on beds and people at the slots and tables. Some say it is too little too late but I say nay to that notion. Just think about everything we have to offer and how many people live within a half a tank of gas from Atlantic City. “So much fun, so close to home” is how we like to think of ourselves. All that and the world famous boardwalk and beach. That’s a lot of good stuff.
We are working hard to get there. Certainly our courses and golf destination are getting rave reviews and hailed as the best midsize golf destination on the East Coast. That is certainly something to build on. Hopefully, something along with visitors for shows, shopping, nightlife and attractions will bring visitors to Atlantic City and help get some of these laid off workers back on the job. It will not happen overnight but it will happen. After all, this is Atlantic City.