Atlantic City, or “AC” as the locals refer to it, is known for its many casinos, extensive beaches, and iconic Boardwalk. It is a resort city located on New Jersey’s Atlantic coast. Established in the 1800s as a health resort, today, the city is dotted with glitzy high-rise hotels and nightclubs. In addition to gambling at slot machines and table games, the casinos offer spa treatments, performances by famous comedy and music acts, and high-end shopping. Atlantic City inspired the board game Monopoly. It’s been home to the Miss America pageant since 1921. In 1976 voters legalized casino gambling, and the first one opened two years later in an effort at revitalizing the city. Other casinos were soon constructed along the Boardwalk and, then, in the marina district for a total of eleven. It was one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States by the end of the decade.
By the 2000s, In the wake of the United States’ economic downturn and the legalization of gambling in adjacent and nearby states (including Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania), four casinos closed by 2014. In March of 2011, the Revel had completed all of the exterior work and continued working on the interior after receiving the funding necessary to complete construction. A soft opening occurred in April 2012 and was fully opened by May 2012. Ten months later, in February 2013, after severe losses and a write-down in the value of the resort from $2.4 billion to $450 million, Revel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. After the restructure, it still could not carry on and re-entered bankruptcy on June 19, 2014. It was up for sale, however as no suitable bids were received, the resort closed its doors on September 2, 2014. Atlantic City’s tourism began to decline due to its failure to diversify away from gaming.
The beginning of 2017, Atlantic City started to show signs of resurrection, The Revel, which closed in 2014, was purchased by AC Ocean Walk, LLC for $200 million in 2017, and reopened in 2018. Former casino, Trump Taj Mahal, opened that same year as the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Atlantic City Redevelopment Authority developed a new roadway near the Marina, Nicknamed “The Tunnel Project.” The idea would be to connect the $330 million tunnel stretching 2.5 miles from the Atlantic City Expressway to the new resort. The roadway was later officially named the Atlantic City-Brigantine. New Jersey’s most significant tourist town is showing signs of recovery from the disinvestment, recession, and neglect it’s suffered over the past decade. While the success comes from new and reinvented casino hotels (including the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino), some large-scale facilities and private investments have seized to bring amenities like restaurants, bars, and a famous craft distillery to parts of the city. One significant highlight is the beach block of Tennessee Avenue, a mostly abandoned strip of the road where an emerging cluster of service-oriented businesses looks poised to create the city’s first upmarket “Main Street,” which serves as an anchor for surrounding development.
Perhaps the most anticipation will be the long-awaited redevelopment of the closed Atlantic Club Casino Hotel. A development group has agreed to purchase for former casinos with plans to develop the property into a 100,000-square-foot indoor water park, dining, and family entertainment complex.
Although the development of the indoor waterpark won’t be until 2021, Atlantic City still offers excellent fun and entertainment for folks of all ages.