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Survey Names Atlantic City as the Second Most Unfriendly City on the Planet

Atlantic City boardwalk
Spencer Platt, Getty Images

After surveying 200,000 people, a new survey from Travel and Leisure has named Atlantic City as the second most unfriendly city on the planet.

No, not in the nation — on the planet.

Moscow ranked number one; St. Petersburg, Russia, was third; Marseille, France, 4th; and Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia rounded-out the top seven. This latest ranking comes on the heels of Atlantic City being named one of the unfriendliest cities in the nation (again).

So, what the heck is it about this little 17-square-mile plot of land that’s home to not even 40,000 people? Why are we getting such a bad rap?

Travel and Leisure’s commentary about Atlantic City’s ranking said, “It’s fun—if you like to gamble and don’t mind rude, fast-paced people.”

While I don’t think anyone will argue that we tend to live a fast-paced lifestyle around here, and a good number of people are in Atlantic City to gamble, are out-of-towners mistaking our statewide Jersey attitude for us all being rude? Newsflash: we might come across as rude on the surface (we’re not), but if you get to know us, I think you’ll find that we are some of the nicest people around.

Sure, we’ve had casinos close and we’ve seen almost 10,000 people lose their jobs over the past year or two as a result. And, yes, years later we are still fighting the perception that Superstorm Sandy destroyed the boardwalk (thanks a lot, Al Roker), but those events certainly don’t define us.

I spent 3 hours on the Atlantic City Boardwalk yesterday for the 2015 Atlantic City Airshow — how many miserable locals did I encounter? Zero. In fact, I had a very nice conversation with a guy who was running a parking lot on Mississippi Avenue before walking up to the boardwalk. While waiting for the light to change to cross Pacific Avenue, I pointed some tourists in the right direction. Leaving, I passed a Toys For Tots trailer in front of Trump Plaza and the people there who were handing out bottles of water were nothing but smiles. I walked out on the beach to see what the crowds looked like, a couple passing Atlantic City Police officers greeted me with a smile.

This notion that were all just a bunch of miserable people walking around our dilapidated boardwalk, passing boarded-up casinos, in a city that never sees sunshine is both awful and blatantly wrong.

We have beautiful beaches, a world famous boardwalk, a city of 40,000 people that hosts events that 70,000 people attend at a time, an airshow that brings half-a-million people to town, a mayor that is the biggest cheerleader the city has ever seen, and a determined group of people who are willing to do anything to get this town back to where it should be.

Miserable? I think not.

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