Visitors to Atlantic City will be noticing a slew of projects being done as part of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority’s (CRDA) plan for the improvement of the Tourism District.

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CRDA Director John Palmieri spoke at the Resorts Casino Monday during a luncheon sponsored by the Metropolitan Business & Citizens Association (MBCA) and Stockton College, to explain the future of the area as part of the Tourism District Master Plan.

He re-iterated the CRDA’s three phase plan, which focus’s on reinvigorating the Tourism District (the boardwalk and several blocks adjacent to it) as well as the rest of the city.

Rendering of proposed Pacific Avenue improvement project

The first phase of the plan features many of the projects that require the least amount of preparation and can be started instantaneously.

Come around Memorial Day visitors will notice dozens of CRDA Ambassadors throughout the boardwalk and neighboring streets, helping navigate people to destinations and hotspots as well as acting as an additional pair of eyes and ears for police. Originally the program called for 15 to 20, however Palmieri says they chose to upgrade it to 60 members. Calling it “Ambassadors on steroids.”

Palmieri says an additional advantage of the Ambassadors is that they’ll serve to help anyone who might feel a little awkward asking for help getting to their chosen casino or entertainment.

Additionally another CRDA project visitors will see is the new garage which is being opened.

“Rates are low, we have plugs for people using energy efficient cars.” Says Palmieri.

Once visitors go to the boardwalk they will immediately see the 3million dollar new illumination system featuring 240 new lights.

CRDA Executive Director John Palmieri with a newly designed moving chair

“So if they’re there in the evening they’ll be a lot of light and decorative lighting to make it pleasant and harkens back to the history of the city.” Notes Palmieri.

Palmieri acknowledges that much of the first phase will be to address the aesthetic issues plaguing the area.

“I think we need to re-imagine the city and pay homage to its historic status, while at the same time do more to create non gaming improvements.”

One of the improvements that will be seen later in the summer is improvements to the Steel Pier, with new attractions and games that Palmieri says will focus on creating it as a national attraction once again.

Palmieri believes the speed of the project will be important, saying they only have a couple of years to make a difference.

“We may have upwards of upwards of five years to gain some traction, but in the next eighteen months we need to have some things done.” Says Palmieri.

Adding that may mean development within the South Inlet, new boutique hotel, or residential housing.

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