There is a handful of resort cities along the east coast, but Atlantic City in New Jersey might be one of the most well known. Famously known for the beautiful beaches, world-famous Atlatic City Boardwalk, and a string of popular casinos, the city is home to nearly 40,000 people according to the 2010 census. Founded on May 1, 1854, Atlantic City was formed between the Atlantic Ocean and the marshlands. This has made Atlantic City prime real estate in the eyes of developers. In 1853, The Belloe House became a first in terms of commercial hotels.
The boardwalk in Atlantic City was built in 1870 and opened June 16 of the same year. The Atlantic City Boardwalk was the first of its kid in the United States. It was erected to help keep sand from entering the hotels’ lobbies. At the end of each peak season, the boardwalk was removed. Due to the popularity and effectiveness, it was decided to expand the boardwalk in both length and width. The final length of the boardwalk was 7 miles before the 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane hit.
By the time 1878 rolled around, the population of Atlantic City was growing rapidly. At this point, there was a railroad that linked the city with Philadelphia. With so many people moving to the area, the one railroad could no longer support the demand. Another railroad was put into place to transport tourists to Atlantic City. Different size rooms and hotels started developing throughout the city. One of the premiere hotels at the time, the United States Hotel featured amenities that seemed quite luxurious at the time.
In the early 1900s, the city went through a major boom in the building department. Most of the boarding houses that lined the boardwalk were replaced. These modest homes were torn down for large hotels.
A referendum was passed by New Jersey voters in 1976. It was done so in hopes of rejuvenating the city. Two years earlier, a similar referendum failed to pass thus bringing forth a newer one in 1976. As soon as it was announced that the referendum passed in legislation, changes started happening throughout Atlantic City. The Chalfote-Haddon Hall Hotel started to change and was converted by the owners into the Resorts International. Opening on May 26, 1978, Resorts International became the first legal casino on the east coast. Other casinos soon popped up along the Boardwalk.
Atlantic City is often compared to Las Vegas in Nevada and the New Jersey city is called the “Gambling Capital of the East Coast”. Several major casinos line the Boardwalk and draw tourists each year. In 2011, it was estimated that 28.5 million people visited Atlantic City and spent $3.3 billion dollars in gaming. The boost in revenue helps the state as does the 33,000 jobs that keep residents employed.
The economic turn in the United States has hit every corner throughout the country and Atlantic City is no different. Large casinos are changing names, being sold, and forcing owners to decide what the next step is best for the company. Not even the oldest casinos are spared from the economic downturn as many have had to close their doors. On the other side, several planned projects for new casinos were never completed and many never got out of the planning stages.
Gaming revenues fell at five casinos in August. This has led to an overall decline among the area’s eight remaining casinos. Overall, the casinos were able to pull in $258.6 million from slot machines, table games, and online gambling – data released by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement. From these numbers, it can be seen that there was a 5 percent decline from August 2014. During that month, the same casinos had pulled in $272.3 million dollars. Officials made sure to state that in 2015 Labor Day Weekend fell in September and the same busy holiday fell in August 2014. That could be a reason for some of the decline. Matthew Levinson, chairman of the Casino Control Commission, noted that things looked better than the monthly reports showed. To date, the data collected showed an overall increase of 3.2 percent of the remaining eight casinos.
There was a shift, both good and bad, in the revenue that Atlantic City saw in reference to the casinos. Comparing August 2015 with August 2014, some casinos saw a decrease and some saw an increase. Bally’s came in with $23.3 million in revenue for August. This was down 9.2 percent when compared to 2014. Borgata had $74.7 million, an increase of 7.8 percent. Caesars went down 28.6 percent with $31.3 million dollars in revenue for the month of August. The Golden Nugget casino went up in revenue to 27.8 percent and brought in $22.4 million. Both Harrah’s and Tropicana went down in revenue compared to the previous year. Harrah’s had $35.5 million which is down 8.7 percent. Tropicana went down 7.3 percent and had $31.1 million in revenue. Resorts Casino went up 18 percent with $17.5 million dollars in revenue. The Trump Taj Mahal Casino went down 24.2 percent, bringing in $18.9 million.
Atlantic City is not just for gambling. There are many attractions throughout the city, entertaining for any age group. Many tourists do some sightseeing in hopes of seeing the city’s portrayal of the game Monopoly – many of the locations in the game are named for the city or nearby. If tourists are more of a TV show enthusiast, Boardwalk Empire was based in the city and a trolley is set up to show fans around to memorable locations. With a humid subtropical climate with some maritime moderation, there is something for everyone in Atlantic City and the surrounding area.