What’s The Future Of Atlantic City’s Casinos? [AUDIO]
Few places in New Jersey were hit by Hurricane Sandy harder than Atlantic City, but while the Barrier Islands remain quarantined while crews clean debris and repair roads for the residents of AC, what will be the future of state's most famous resort destination?
Unlike the rest of Atlantic City, the twelve casinos managed to survive Hurricane Sandy with relatively little damage. In the past year millions have invested in redeveloping the city's tourism district, and creating a clean and safe atmosphere, all of which could be compromised by the storms damage.
However Roger Gros, Publisher of Global Gaming Business Magazine, says the damage doesn't have to be a death knell to AC, provided they take steps to properly rebound after the cleanup.
"The Atlantic City casinos can turn around the perception of Atlantic City and the Jersey Shore in general and really become a catalyst for increased visitation, if it's done right."
However he believes that will fall on the governor and the convention authority.
He says one of the challenges they face is with every second that Atlantic City isn't open to gamers, it gives the public another reason to choose another destination to spend their entertainment dollar or for their meeting or special event.
"Atlantic City is going to have to really be on top of their game when they come back."
Governor Chris Christie, who has been one of the biggest supporters of the Atlantic City revitalization, is going to have play an integral role in marketing the comeback of Atlantic City believes Gros. That means encouraging state groups and the general public to come to Atlantic City, especially while his media presence is at an all time.
"His visibility during this tragedy has really brought him to a new level of understanding by a lot of the people on the northeast region so I think if he comes back and really helps Atlantic City out I think in the end it really turns out to be a positive."
The Atlantic City Alliance's "Do AC" campaign has focused on the non gaming options the city has to offer, and Gros believes it's important to continue on the same course.
"They have a lot of them [non gaming activities] and I think the fact that Atlantic City will be coming back with the help of the governor and the state tourism board, I think Atlantic City can really use this to their advantage."
Sandy was the worst storm to hit the Garden State in arguably the past century, however Gros says Atlantic City can look to Katrina and learn a lot of similar lessons about revitalizing the industry."