ATLANTIC CITY — A panel of experts is predicting a bright future for Atlantic City and vicinity in the coming weeks and months.

The Shorecast outlook for the region’s upcoming tourism and business season was delivered during an event Tuesday sponsored by Stockton University's Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT).

“Things look very good,” says Rummy Pandit, the executive director of LIGHT. “We’ve got all the makings of a fantastic summer.”

Pandit says Atlantic City will welcome two new properties, the Hard Rock and a new Hyatt, at the end of next month. That will offer a variety of new musical events, and attract new conferences and conventions.

He says the Supreme Court decision this week to allow sports betting will give Atlantic City a wonderful boost.

“We’re anticipating that it’s going to generate somewhere from $150 to $175 million in revenue once it is approved through the Legislature,” he said.

Pandit predicts sports betting will attract new visitors.

He notes there is gambling in almost every state in the Northeast, “but they are not a destination resort and Atlantic City is a destination resort.”

He points out in addition to gaming in Atlantic City, “you’re now talking about shows, you’re talking about food and beverage, you’re talking about branded restaurants, you’re talking about top-notch chefs being in town.”

“You are talking about retail in a big way, and we’re also talking about smaller developments in terms of things like beer gardens, places for people to gather and spend an evening together in a social environment.”

Pandit says we’re seeing the arrival of the Millennials in Atlantic City.

“They’re looking for a different type of experience. They don’t want to sit in front of the slot machine and pull the handle; they want to have a social experience whether they’re gaming or whether they’re in the clubs.”

The 10th annual Jersey Shorecast panel included Anthony Catanoso, an owner and managing partner of Steel Pier Associates, Jim Wood, president and CEO of Meet AC, Atlantic City’s Tourism Economic Development Corporation, Jim Ziereis, vice president of Hotel Sales for Tropicana Atlantic City, Diane Wieland, director of the Cape May County Department of Tourism, and Mike Tidwell, director of sales and marketing at Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club.

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