Plans to unveil a more detailed reporting system that breaks down streams of nongambling revenue have been deferred another month as officials work to ensure the new system can accurately portray the state of Atlantic City’s businesses.
In December, the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority announced that it would begin to track spending on food and beverage, retail and ticket sales in monthly reports with the first expected in February. The authority now says it hopes to release the new report by April.
“It’s not a cut-and-dry process. It’s really important that we’re reporting the data we have in a meaningful way,” said Elaine Zamansky, ACCVA’s media relations director.
ACCVA currently releases monthly tourism barometers timed in connection with gambling revenue reported by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement. Those reports measure the strength of the resort’s nongambling attractions, but currently only include data on events at Boardwalk Hall, conventions and meetings, website views and visitors center statistics.
Zamansky said the authority has collected two months worth of “test data” that will provide a more accurate breakdown of how and where people spend money in the city, but that data needs to be presented in context. Creating the new reports requires additional reporting from casinos, as well as reporting from credit card services — neither of which have posed a problem.
However, that means that ACCVA is only able to track purchases made by credit cards and won’t be taking into account cash transactions. To provide a more accurate picture, the authority is contacting local businesses to determine a rubric for how much business each type of vendor usually sees from credit versus cash purchases. Those breakdowns will also change seasonally, Zamansky said.
ACCVA will compile the new barometers with the help of research firm Spectrum Gaming Group, which works on the current tourism barometers for the authority.
Spectrum Gaming Group Managing Director Michael Pollock said the reporting process is complex and the groups are working to develop a presentation that is timely, accurate and useful. He directed any questions about the specific timeline for the new reports to Zamansky.
Meanwhile, statistics released in the current tourism barometer Monday suggest some bright spots as the resort continues to recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
Boardwalk Hall hosted five events, including The Who’s Quadrophenia show, Indoor Auto Racing and The Mummer’s Show of Shows, in February, bringing in a total of 31,381 people. That compares to last February’s two events that attracted 11,621 attendants.
Between the Atlantic City Convention Center and event spaces at hotel properties, 11 conventions, meetings and trade shows took place in the city in February — running flat with last year’s data. Those events, however, attracted 57,940 people compared to 86,897 last year, about a 33 percent decline.
ACCVA President Jeff Vasser attributed the difference to the fact that the Atlantic City Classic Car Show, one of the Convention Center’s largest public shows in the winter, fell in March this year and in February in 2012.
ACCVA estimates that the show will attract 32,000 attendees in 2014, according to its website.
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