The following is from Steve Norton, formerly vice president of Resorts when it first opened. If you follow his blog, it is understood that he has a continuing appreciation of Atlantic City. He was instrumental in the development of gambling here and continues to keep his interest.
“Orbitz is a well-respected travel organization, and Atlantic City could benefit from (its recent) designation of ‘Comeback Destination Of The Year.’ But without new air service into Atlantic City International, the title will be meaningless. Our old customer base in N.Y., Pa. and N.J., already know about us but don’t need to visit to scratch their gambling itch.
“And the other parts of the U.S. who might be interested in an A.C. vacation, have no way to get here. So as exciting as the designation might sound, it won’t have the desired effect without new air connections. I have heard that Caesars and Tropicana are looking at charter connections, but we also need scheduled air, to open new markets while providing the preferred method of travel for the various group and convention trades, whose attendees requiring airline connection. The designation can’t hurt, but air would make everyone’s job that much easier to make inroads into filling 200 midweek nights per year with visitors who are willing to pay market rates for their accommodations and aren’t expecting the casinos to give them everything, just for a visit.”
There are two ways to accomplish air service. One is by subsidizing a regular airline, such as has been done with AirTran, and the other is by using a charter service. Currently, according to my information, there are ongoing conversations with a few regular airlines. To the best of my knowledge, talks continue as this is the program that seems to be favored by some of those in the decision-making organizations.
The unfortunate situation is that, with the airlines, when the subsidy runs out their flights are canceled.
As to charter airlines, Roy Goldberg, of Gold Transportation, has offered an Atlantic City Air Charter Service. This would operate from March 1, 2013, to Nov. 3, 2013. There would be 142 flights with approximately 21,300 customers. Gold proposes forming an air service coalition with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the Atlantic City Alliance, the South Jersey Transportation Authority and the Atlantic City casinos.
The new charter program, FLY ACY, would bring customers from cities that have a strong track record of favoring Atlantic City as their entertainment destination. Gold would provide all of the scheduling, management and flight coordination. They need the new coalition to market and subsidize this program to give it the stability necessary to ensure an ultimately successful venture for all.
Gold Transportation has used its experience to develop a schedule that services the most historically successful marketing centers for Atlantic City on the days and times that have been proven to be most popular over the years. Accordingly, the schedule developed maximizes the amount of weekend peak times that visitors will have to participate in the various gaming and non-gaming opportunities that Atlantic City has to offer. The charters will also offer an opportunity for locals to visit cities from which the visitors will be coming at moderate fares.
Atlantic City needs visitors and the Atlantic City International Airport needs flights. Which of these two programs will be the most successful? Maybe we should try both.
Trump Plaza sale?
Pinky’s Corner’s radio show had a guest earlier this week who stated he had met a couple of Asian gentleman who expressed their desire to purchase the Trump Plaza and turn it into a true Asian Resort and Casino. They would bring in Asian entertainment and some of the finest chefs of their cuisine. This rumors has been floating around for quite a while. Hopefully, it will become a true story.
Nucky: The real story
I was asked by Frank Ferry to write a statement for his new book on Nucky Johnson that will be released on Sunday Jan. 20. I wrote, “No one living knows more about Nucky Johnson than Frank J. Ferry.”
Ferry was a law partner with Sen. Frank S. “Hap” Farley, City Solicitor Murray Fredericks and Paul Farley. Frank was Nucky’s attorney from the time he came out of jail until he died. He halted the government’s action to collect on a $20,000 fine stemming from his previous conviction for tax evasion in 1941.
If you want to know the true story of Nucky Johnson and the Prohibition era and the days following it in Atlantic City, I urge you to read this book, titled, “Nucky: The Real Story of the Atlantic City Boardwalk Boss.” It is quite enlightening.
Armed Forces Parade June 24
The Atlantic City Airshow will be held this year on Wednesday, June 26, starting at 10 a.m. Atlantic City’s Armed Forces Parade will follow the Air Show’s move to June and will proudly parade down the Boardwalk on Monday, June 24, commencing at 6:30 p.m.
For the third year, members of our various armed forces, with representatives of World War II to today’s battles, will draw more than 100,000 people to pay homage to those who served previously and those who serve today. At the 2012 parade, people from all over stood proudly each time the American flag passed them. The service members had smiles on their faces as they embraced the respect that we showed to them. It was a true love affair and will be so again this year. We hope see you on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City.
Siganos opening Tony Luke’s in A.C.
A couple of weeks ago, Corky’s restaurant in the Tropicana Casino Resort, which had served excellent barbecued ribs, closed its doors.
In Corky’s former location, George Siganos, a highy regarded purveyor of varied food venues, will open Tony Luke’s, one of Philadelphia’s best known steak sandwiches houses, on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk at the Tropicana.
Siganos’ biggest coup was opening the sandwich and pastry shop in the lobby of Caesars that is constantly busy. He also has the excellent variety of dishes at the food venue area on The Pier at Caesars.
Pinky’s Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky’s Corner radio show airs 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND 1400-AM. His TV show, “WMGM Presents Pinky” airs 7:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC TV40. Email Pinky at: firstname.lastname@example.org.