A Brave New World: New Grass and Beer Pong

 The Pinnacle site is being upgraded with new sidewalks, grass and landscaping.

It is a common theme of mine and other commentators these days; “the glory days of Atlantic City are over.”  It is not difficult of find new evidence or comparisons between Atlantic City and other jurisdiction with less competition and more hope.  Daily from Las Vegas there are stories depicting Las Vegas as a town with challenges, but also a town with some solutions.  The World Series of Poker in progress, the multi-million dollar pools are open and drawing crowds and national and international corporations willing to invest billions in Strip opportunities.  Genting, Paulson and Penn National have recently put money or expressed interest in putting money in Las Vegas casinos.

Atlantic City provides almost daily stories also, but the stories come mostly from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland and other states expanding their gaming options and thereby creating more problems for AC.  However, today there are two stories from Atlantic City that illustrate the current reality of Atlantic City. First a second annual beer pong tournament ended with the Press of Atlantic City and the host Resorts casino proclaiming it a very successful event, even while acknowledging the participants and accompanying spectators are mainly young men drinking too much beer, spending money only on rooms and food and at best not offending too many regular casino customers with their drunken behavior.  The second story is worse, Pinnacle is planting grass on the site, where it once proposed spending several billion dollars, until it can find a buyer.  At least it improves the appearance of what one politician compared to “a street in Somalia” and put it the No. 6 spot on Mayor Lorenzo Langford’s Top 10 list of the city’s most blighted sites.  Reno turned one site into a plaza and another into a park and a plaza, no blight, but no casino, no other business, no jobs and no revenue for the city. But they are comfortable places to relax and as one blogger in Atlantic City said, great places for smokers to hangout now that they are unwelcome indoors.


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June 2010
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