When was the last time you were on the beach or saw it? If you are on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, you could not tell if there were any changes to the beach. If you are on the Boardwalk in Ventnor City, however, you would be able to see there have been some dramatic changes.

This past summer there was a replenishment program that pumped sand onto Atlantic City’s beach. It really looked nice, and throughout the summer people enjoyed it. From New Hampshire Avenue to Jackson Avenue there was a nice-sized beach.

And then Hurricane Sandy came along.

The area from New Hampshire Avenue to the Steel Pier suffered a dramatic loss of beachfront. This includes the beach in front of Revel, the Garden Pier and the area of New Jersey Avenue to Virginia Avenue.

However, there are also changes from the south side of Steel Pier to Jackson Avenue and beyond into Ventnor City.

During the past few weeks, I walked on the Atlantic City Boardwalk and, because of the height of the dunes, I was unable to note any change on the beach of the area that I traversed.

But last Monday, I was on the beach with Tom Foley, Atlantic City’s director of emergency management, and was shocked at what I saw. Hurricane Sandy’s rough ocean had more than doubled the amount of sand that was now on the beach. It was white and looked absolutely beautiful. I could not believe that the beach was now more than double what it had been during the summer.

This storm took away the sand in the Inlet section and obviously brought it to the rest of the community’s beach. Please, take a walk on the beach and you will see the phenomenon of Atlantic City and Ventnor’s beaches having pure white sand doubling the size of what it was during the summer. Hopefully, there will be no more storms that will take away what Hurricane Sandy brought us.

Hat Trick a winner

Just about every one of the 10,972 in attendance this past Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall walked out a winner. At a time when there is no hockey being played in the big leagues, they saw an exciting, interesting hockey game featuring some of the biggest names and best players in the National Hockey League.

Just about every seat in the Boardwalk Hall was filled with people who love the game of hockey and chanted it many times during the game, “We love hockey.” On Tuesday, late word came out that both sides in the NHL labor dispute had agreed to go to mediation. Hopefully that will resolve the issues that are holding up the signing of a contract.

It is anticipated that proceeds from Operation Hat Trick will be between $400,000 and $500,000. WOW! This is all due to Caesars Entertainment’s Joe Watson and his boss Don Marrandino, Eastern Division president. Watson came up with the idea, Marrandino approved it and they worked diligently night and day to put it together and to make it the success that it was.

The funds will be distributed between the American Red Cross, the Empire State Relief Fund and the New Jersey Hurricane Relief Fund. The money will go to New York and New Jersey families who were affected by Sandy.

Here is an interesting side note that most of those in attendance were unaware took place. Katie Dougherty, director of public relations for Caesars Entertainment, knew that one of the members of her staff, Jerry Eisenband, public relations manager, had been a hockey player whose dream was to be on the ice with an NHL team. Dougherty arranged to have a uniform made for him and surprised him with the invitation to be on the ice during the warm-up of the Hat Trick game.

Few of those in attendance noted that there were two goalies at one end of the rink. And while New York Ranger Henrik Lundqvist would take a break, Eisenband filled the net and actually blocked some of the shots that were coming in his direction. Those of us in the know cheered each time he blocked a shot.

It wasn’t often, but it did happen. Besides raising funds for those in need, a lifetime dream became a reality. Our congratulations to Dougherty, Eisenband and all those in the know who made it happen, as well as the NHL players who were delighted to be a part of making it happen.

Steel Pier

Speaking of exciting items, I just learned that Tony Catanoso and his company, which is rebuilding Steel Pier, will erect a 400-foot high Starflyer that will be the highest in the world on the pier this summer. He is also considering putting the tallest Ferris wheel in New Jersey, about 200 feet high, on the pier.

Consideration is also being given to having a zip line between Steel Pier and Margaritaville. These would be three of the most outstanding attractions that we have had in Atlantic City since the days of the Diving Horse and the men who used to dive into the ocean from a 100-foot platform.

It is anticipated that $20 million will be invested in the Steel Pier in 2013. This past year, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority provided financial assistance for the development of Steel Pier.

Hopefully, they will continue to aid this company in revitalizing Steel Pier and restore it as one of the most exciting recreation facilities in the East Coast.

Notes of interest

n Are you aware of the fact that contracted restaurants and businesses in the casinos do not include the employees or the revenues derived from these facilities in their gross revenue and number of employees statement? Well, it is true they do not include them as they are contracted by the individual businesses and restaurants and are not under the control of the casinos.

n Various municipalities in New Jersey installed controversial red-light cameras at dangerous intersections to reduce the number of crashes. Unfortunately, an analysis by the New Jersey Department of Transportation of two dozen intersections that have used the controversial cameras for a year found that accidents, particularly rear-end crashes, have increased and the collisions are more costly.

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: pinky@pressofac.com.