I am happy to report that the repaving of Pacific Avenue may begin sooner than originally thought.
A pre-bid meeting is scheduled for today. Due to the fact that the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority is anxious to get the project underway as soon as possible, it is anticipated that bids will be presented April 7.
The schedule for the repaving has not been announced. According to information that had been released, some purchases will be made that will make bids lower than previously considered.
Everyone is anxious for this project to begin. If the bids come in lower and are in order, expectations are that the job could be started in April and completed before summer. That would be good news.
Cleanup also is needed
On my recent trip to the Hard Rock Casino Hotel in Hollywood, Fla., I had an hour-and-a-half interview with Jim Allen, chief executive officer of all Hard Rock properties except the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, which is owned by the originator of the Hard Rock property.
You may remember that Allen was going to open a 250-room Hard Rock boutique casino hotel at Albany Avenue and the Boardwalk. He was set to open the property and would have if Revel Casino-Hotel did not come forth with a poor financial showing after opening. This turned off the bankers who were ready to finance Allen's proposition.
In my recent interview, Allen noted Pacific Avenue is in deplorable condition, noting the number of gentlemen clubs along the street. He said he has nothing against the clubs being in a portion of the community conducive to their business. But, he noted New York’s mayor had cleaned up those types of facilities on 42nd Street and Broadway. He also noted that Fort Lauderdale, Fla., cleaned up clubs on its main streets.
It is time for Atlantic City to do likewise. It is my belief the mayor and City Council should study how it was accomplished in the cities noted. Why not take a page out of their book and get it done? This is not to say to do away with them, but put them together in a section of the city that fits.
In certain areas, Pacific Avenue is a disgrace. One sees the prostitutes as well as those who peddle drugs. Many of you are not out late at night and do not get to see these horrible activities. It is time to clean up Pacific Avenue. Let's get rid of the houses used in illegal activities that threaten the well-being of Atlantic City. At the same time, let's curtail the number of porn shops in the city.
The issue of sports betting continues to be brought to the forefront. The state of New Jersey has filed a challenge to the 22-year-old federal law with the U.S. Supreme Court. But getting the court to hear the case is no sure thing.
The issue before the court addresses the law that allows four states to have sports betting while the other 46 states sit by the side and are not permitted to indulge in this activity.
The average individual wonders about the inequity of this law. Hopefully, the court will accept the challenge. We will soon find out.
I received the following communication that’s worthy of consideration. A gentleman wrote, “I don't think I will ever see our visions of a wonder walk, but you might be able to set in motion a modern Boardwalk bike rental program. The Boardwalk is one of the great bike venues of the world, and it’s very difficult to rent one if you are staying in a casino.”
I would imagine that everyone who can ride would, if the bikes were easy to rent. There must be electronic systems that would allow renters to swipe a credit card or a one-time casino bike debit card into a bike rack that would release the bike. The bike stations could be placed in convenient spots, and I’m sure the casinos would support the program, as should the city.
In a recent visit to Washington D.C., I noted that there were bike racks throughout the park area. The bikes are available to those wishing to ride by using a credit card. Sounds simple enough, but, unfortunately, not available for those who seem to desire one in Atlantic City. My recollection is that there were always people who rented bikes near the hotels, but, obviously, that is not the case today.
Wrestling big draw
Global Spectrum, the new operator of Boardwalk Hall, noted that more than 40,000 people visited the legendary hall for the three-day New Jersey State Wrestling Championship Tournament. Those of us who are local residents know this is the norm for this wonderful event.
The event directly contributed $4.3 million in spending to the local Atlantic City economy. This is a yearly tradition in the high school wrestling community as a celebration of their sport and the highlight of the year among high school wrestlers, coaches, families and fans.
Some of us remember well that Atlantic City also has had the New Jersey State Basketball Championships in Boardwalk Hall. In the past couple of years, we had the A-10 college basketball tournament in our illustrious hall.
It certainly would be nice to see the return of basketball and ice hockey championships that we enjoyed for several years. Global Spectrum is endeavoring to bring more sporting events into Boardwalk Hall.
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