What Happened to Atlantic City?

Back when I was in college a friend and I were driving up the east coast and took a minor detour to check out Atlantic City.  We actually changed clothes in the Taj parking garage to make sure we looked presentable enough for the casino.  I’d venture to guess that if I walked into any AC casino now in a shirt with either a collar or sleeves they’d call me a high roller.

Okay, maybe its not that bad, but with the influx of new casinos in the area over the past decades and the many pending casino applications in New York state and Massachusetts we may be witnessing AC’s swan song.  It is a shame in some respects and in other ways it is probably fitting for a locale that just never could find its way to living up to the potential of becoming Vegas East.

Harrahs is likely closing another one of its properties in AC over the next year and the other existing properties are either struggling, selling at a loss, or outright closing.  It seems improbable with the relatively close proximity of huge gaming populations in NYC, Philly and New England, but the Monopoly board might be your best Boardwalk investment at this time.

My personal opinion is that transportation is their biggest hurdle.  If you live in NYC or are visiting you likely don’t have full time access to a car and so you need a way to get to AC.  At the present time an easy alternative just doesn’t exist.  You can take a bus, but unless you are 80 years old and have a oxygen tank that doesn’t present a tantalizing option.  On the other end you could rent a helicopter or town car, but if you have that kind of money you likely want to go somewhere a little more upscale.

The next time I go to NYC for work I’m going to try and work in an extra night for an AC side trip to see what happens.  I’ll keep you updated on what I see and if there might still be some light left in those AC lights.


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