There may be four fewer casinos in the coastal resort city this year but that didn’t deter tens of thousands of people from flocking to the beaches, Boardwalk, new shopping venues and remaining casinos for the Fourth of July weekend 2015. It would seem the iconic city is still the playground of choice for easterners wanting to celebrate summer and the nation’s birthday.
Restaurants were packed, the Boardwalk was shoulder to shoulder Saturday afternoon, and so were the sandy Atlantic Ocean beaches. The nine block long “Tanger Outlets The Walk” shopping mall saw record business as did the new Bart Blatstein owned entertainment and shopping complex called “Playground”. The former “Pier Shops” officially opened June 27th after major renovations by the Philadelphia developer.
With a quarter of the city’s casinos shuttered the remaining gaming venues saw plenty of action too. Even before the super summer weekend, the Borgata posted their highest slots earnings in 12 years for the month of May. With their new concert venue, Festival Park hosting spectacular fireworks shows and concerts, the action inside was elbow to elbow with competition to get on a blackjack table 6 feet deep.
Atlantic City was not the only Jersey Shore city to see good turnout. Cape May tourism representative, Christine Ostrander told media, “We are jamming.” Of course her county is home to the five most popular beaches in New Jersey according to a recent poll. Ocean City placed number one for another year in the survey.
“Even with the weather being partly sunny with a chance of thunderstorms, our beautiful beaches are packed,” said Ostrander. “There is virtually no parking and everywhere you look you see a sea of people donning their stars and stripes.”
All indications are that Atlantic City is here to stay and the eight surviving casinos can draw visitors to the Shore as well as twelve; as badly as the fallen will be missed.