Feel the need for speed? You won't do any better in Atlantic City than Harrah's Resort, which is offering car enthusiasts a chance to drive their dream cars.
World Class Driving, a national company that has entertained more than 6,000 drivers since it started in 2007, is offering the "Exotic Car Summer Adventure," where automobile junkies with some extra cash in their pocket can drive a Ferrari F430, Ford GT and Lamborghini Super Leggera through a scenic route around the Atlantic City area as WCD selects a route to drive in spaces as free of traffic as possible to best experience the performance characteristics of each vehicle.
"We've been working very hard over the last 18 months to try to complete the transformation from a casino hotel to a true resort destination," says Jay Snowden, senior vice president and general manager for Harrah's Resort and Showboat Casino-Hotel. "This is one more resort offering that you can't find anywhere else in the resort. It's something that differentiates our property from the others."
Of course, the privilege to sit behind the wheel of one of these gems does not come cheap.
There are three packages: $350 for one car for a half hour; $595 for two cars for one hour; and $995 for the Rally Tour, which is three cars for two-and-a-half hours.
For the first two experiences, an instructor is in the passenger seat. For the Rally Tour, a passenger can join you, except in the Ford GT. However, a pace car will drive ahead of you to make sure you don't go too crazy.
After a brief instruction session and the signing of some waivers, WCD provides the cars, the gas, photos of the experience and a certificate of completion. Drivers will also have access to the WCD site to download other pictures.
"It's a lot of fun because they really take you out to find some good spots where you can open up," Snowden says. "How many people do you know that own one of these that will actually let you drive it?"
Of course, Harrah's won't pony up for any speeding tickets.
"Drive at your own risk," Snowden says with a laugh.
Registration takes place at the welcome desk in Harrah's lobby, and cars can be driven from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. Call 609-441-5657.
Miss America 2009 Katie Stam, in town for the Miss Dance of the United States competition, dined with the 12 finalists at The Melting Pot at The Walk in Atlantic City.
Hosted by Owner Charlie Haney, the talented crew of dancers joined the 23-year-old Stam, of Seymour, Indiana, for a night of fondue that included Quattro Formaggio cheese fondue, salads and entrees with Shrimp Diablo, sundried tomato chicken, Limoncello balsamic sirloin and ravioli. For dessert, they feasted on Bananas Foster fondue and the original milk chocolate and peanut butter with all of the dippers.
Gilles Marini, from "Sex & The City" movie and "Dancing with the Stars" spent last weekend at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. The French heartthrob dined in Borgata's new gourmet Italian room, Fornelletto, where he spoke with "Hell's Kitchen" Season 5 winner and Fornelletto sous chef Danny Veltri about their mutual friend Gordon Ramsay, whom Marini plays soccer with. After dinner, Marini headed to mur.mur to dance to the sounds of DJ Samantha Ronson, who played to a packed house that included her twin sister, designer Charlotte Ronson.
Also at Borgata, musician/producer Jermaine Dupri spent Saturday night DJing to a packed mixx nightclub, where he had the crowd going crazy for a tribute to his friend, the late Michael Jackson.
The Absecon Lighthouse and its executive director, Jeanne Muchanic, received the celebrity treatment last week when General Manager Paul Sandler unveiled an artist's rendition of the Absecon Lighthouse as the newest image on the famed wall of The Palm, located inside The Quarter at the Tropicana Casino and Resort.
Joining Muchanic, who is pictured hanging off the lighthouse like King Kong, were Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford, Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority Executive Director Jeff Vasser and others.
Have a winning recipe?
The Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival, which is being held at Harrah's Entertainment properties from July 30 to Aug. 2, is featuring an online recipe competition that could land the winner alongside celebrity chefs such as Emeril Lagasse, Tom Colicchio, Duff Goldman, Ted Allen and Ingrid Hoffman, who will be appearing at the festival.
Contestants can submit their original recipes at
Recipes must be received by 5 p.m. Sunday, July 19.
The five finalists will be announced on July 24 and will attend the Malibu Beach Rum Soiree at Bally's Atlantic City, where the finalists will meet a panel of celebrity chefs. The three winning recipes will be added to one of the restaurant menus at Sonsie, Phillips Seafood and Mia, all located at Caesars Atlantic City.
Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort will host the "Run Away with Cirque Dreams" contest 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 18, in the Cirque Dreams Theatre.
"Open to every dreamer of any age," the winner will perform in a featured role in "Pandemonia" that will be designed for them. The only requirement is talent.
Spectators are welcome to attend for free. Those who participate are asked to perform no more than two minutes and to bring their own music, props, talent and imagination.
Record 'Bad Beat'
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Bad Beat Jackpot at Showboat Casino-Hotel was more than $346,000, the highest in Atlantic City history. As the number grows, players will be flocking to play there in hopes of being part of history.
The Bad Beat is a progressive jackpot that is won when a player holds a hand of four deuces or higher and is beaten. When that occurs, the loser will receive 50 percent of the Bad Beat Jackpot, the winner receives 25 percent plus the pot, and the other players in the hand split the other 25 percent.
Rock and Pop Art Gallery continues
The Rock and Pop Art Gallery at Resorts Atlantic City continues the next two weekends with a joint exhibit of works by rock photographer Mark Weiss and Michael Godard, known as the rock star of the art world.
The gallery, located on the dining level near Boogie Nights, is open 6 to midnight on Saturday, July 18 and 25.
Mia 'Specialty Nights' continue
The second "Specialty Night" from award-winning chefs and Mia owners Georges Perrier and Chris Scarduzio at Caesars will take place 6 p.m. Friday, July 17, as the dynamic duo will team up for a meal that will certainly be the talk of the town. Tickets are $90.
Two others will take place on Aug. 7 and 21.
- Scott Cronick