The Revel has opened and filed bankruptcy twice in less than two years and now I believe they are closing their doors for good. The Atlantic City Hilton changed its name to the Atlantic and it closed its doors for good in January. The ShowBoat and Trump Plaza are scheduled to close on Labor Day. What is going on?
Gaming Houses have been popping up for years. Racinos like Empire City have cut into Atlantic City’s revenue. However the two biggest killers are the PA Casinos and the lack of fair games. There is no denying that the PA Casinos have hurt AC badly. But AC did nothing to fight them. They just rolled over and are playing dead. Bottom line is AC just like Las Vegas (Vegas is in trouble too) they forgot who they are and why they were born.
In the 1850s (yes that is not a typo), gangsters from Philadelphia wanted to create a resort town for the common man, the blue collar worker. So they took out a map and drew a line to the Atlantic Ocean. Absecon Island and they bought the property and built Atlantic City. Railroads were built so regular folk could get on a train and in a short ride be treated like Kings & Queens. Atlantic City had so many firsts here is a short list:
- The First Permanent Boardwalk
- The First Full Time Life Guard
- The First Post Card
- Salt Water Taffy
Family’s came for the beach. At night couples would dance the night away and after the ladies went to bed the men would Gamble. Yes Atlantic City had Gambling since it was founded. It only became legal in 1978. Atlantic City was home to legendary stars like Frank Sinatra and Harry James. Paul “Skinny” D’Amato owner of the 500 Club in AC was the man who made Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis a team.
The 1970s came and AC had its problems, so they legalized gambling to help save it. It worked. During the 1980s Atlantic City was bigger than Vegas. In fact when the Taj Mahal was completed in 1988 or 89 it was the largest casino in the world. The Mirage opened shortly after and in the 90s Vegas kicked ass.
Now Atlantic City is faced with a big problem and I am not sure it can survive. I have been going to AC since I was 13 in 1979 and I have been every year since. In the late 90s early 2000s I was there almost once a month. I love that town and I am very concerned about its future.
The only hope I have is that AC has two very important things:
- It has been here before, it was down in the dumps and rose from the ashes it’s like a cat it has nine lives
- The Atlantic Ocean – Vegas doesn’t have it, the Pocono Mtns doesn’t have it and neither does Foxwoods
I believe if AC goes back to its roots and offers a family vacation for a reasonable price with the beach and concerts and other things it will be reborn once again. Let’s not forget the gaming, bring in sports betting and bring back 4 and 6 deck black jack. Give players real comps.
Please AC I beg you don’t die on me.