For Immediate Release: July 11, 2008
Atlantic City Sees Positive Business as a Destination Resort
For the ACCVA:
Elaine Zamansky, 609-449-7166
Michael Bruckler, 609-449-7125
Courtney Birmingham, 609-449-7126
For Lou Hammond & Associates:
Ella S. Kenney / Anna Lagos, 212-308-8880
Atlantic City, New Jersey is experiencing a strong demand for its resort offerings, even at a time when some destinations are worried about the economy.
“We’ve added a tremendous number of attractions and amenities in the past few years that have created more of a demand for Atlantic City in both the tourism and convention sectors,” said Jeffrey Vasser, executive director of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority. “We’re now a full, well-rounded destination that continues to grow and change. We offer something new and exciting on a regular basis, we’re a one-tank destination for a large part of the country’s population, and there’s plenty to do here whether or not you enjoy gambling. We’ve been able to maintain a strong visitor base, even with high gas prices and economic uncertainties.”
Vasser’s assertions are borne out by the recent July 4 holiday crowds that packed the city’s hotels, restaurants, clubs, beaches, attractions and Boardwalk.
According to figures from the South Jersey Transportation Authority, 97,133 cars passed through the Pleasantville toll booth of the Atlantic City Expressway on July 4 alone, a 14.2 percent increase from the 85,026 cars in 2007. In addition, uncounted tens of thousands of cars accessed Atlantic City on other roads.
A live July 4 Beach Boys concert on the beach at the Atlantic City Hilton drew 50,000 spectators according to police estimates – far beyond the 5,000 to 10,000 that Hilton executives had anticipated.
Operators of the Steel Pier also saw no signs of an economic downturn during the holiday weekend, with one of the strongest days ever on July 4 and a 47 percent increase in online sales. A few miles south in Margate, Lucy the Elephant experienced a 5 percent increase in visitor counts over the same period last year, with tours and retail sales both running ahead of 2007’s.
Hotel business throughout Atlantic City was strong as well. All four of the Harrah’s Entertainment Atlantic City properties (Harrah’s, Showboat, Caesars and Bally’s) were completely sold out, as were Resorts Atlantic City, the Atlantic City Hilton and the Tropicana Casino and Resort. The city’s dining establishments fared well, too. The Taste of the Shore food outlets at Harrah’s all exceeded expectations, all of the restaurants at Tropicana were at full capacity, and lines were out the door for Patsy’s, Frank Sinatra’s favorite New York restaurant that recently opened at the Hilton.
Atlantic City has also become an entertainment and nightlife powerhouse, and the holiday weekend offered sold out shows such as Jay Leno at Caesars, plus top acts including Melissa Etheridge and John Legend at Borgata, Gretchen Wilson and Plain White T’s at House of Blues, Rush at Trump Taj Mahal and Michael Bolton at Trump Marina. The weekend also had three days of well-attended beach concerts at the Hilton and the biggest Friday and Saturday night crowds ever for the 70s-style nightclub Boogie Nights at Resorts since the club opened last November. The new Rumba Lounge at Tropicana also exceeded expectations.
“All indications are that business will remain strong for the Atlantic City area,” said Vasser. “We have great entertainment booked through the rest of the year at Boardwalk Hall and in casino showrooms, we have new hotel resorts that just opened or will be opening this year, great new restaurants joining our already amazing selection, plus the lure of casino gaming, beautiful beaches, elegant new spas, a plethora of shopping options, fun attractions – everything people look for in a vacation or a quick getaway.”
The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority serves as the destination's principal marketing arm, stimulating economic growth through convention, business and leisure tourism development. The Authority oversees the management of the Atlantic City Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall on behalf of its parent agency, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. The Authority is the first in New Jersey to achieve Destination Marketing Accreditation by the Destination Marketing Association International. The Authority is among an elite group of 47 accredited convention and visitor bureaus throughout the United States. For complete Atlantic City information, visit www.atlanticcitynj.com