Interesting people doing interesting things make for interesting conversation. That’s a given.
And there is an abundance of news and issues at the Jersey Shore and in Atlantic City to discuss.
That’s why today we debut a regular feature called “A conversation with ...” The “conversation with” label has been used a great deal and we considered other labels. But, after each discussion, that label proved to be the most accurate.
Our first conversation is with Joel Ballesteros, who was hired by Resorts Casino Hotel in March to build a market with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Ballesteros, who is an officer in the Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance, was well-known as the special events manager at the Ram’s Head Inn in Galloway Township and frequently is seen around town at major community events.
I was having breakfast recently with a leader in both the industry and the local community and our conversation shifted to what Atlantic City could do to set itself apart from the growing competition in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and elsewhere. The leader immediately talked about and complimented the efforts of Resorts owner Dennis Gomes to attract GLBT dollars to his property.
And this is why we believe Ballesteros and his vision for Resorts is a fabulous way to introduce our feature. Reporter Michael Clark did an excellent job of giving us background on Ballesteros, his views and his vision. If you’ve reached my column, you’ve probably already read “A conversation with ...” If not, turn back to the front page and read it.
We are looking for ideas. We have several interviews set up for “A conversation with ...” in the future. However, we also would like our readers and digital audience to tell us whom they’d like to hear from. Let me know at:
Reporter Clark is a member of what we call “The Spectacle Team.” The team is lead by Spectacle Editor Scott Cronick. The other full-time reporters are Emily Previti and Donald Wittkowski. Others move in and out of the team, including Statehouse reporter Juliet Fletcher.
The task of the team, which was formed late last year, is to cover “The Spectacle” that is Atlantic City, the casinos, tourism along the Jersey Shore and all of the businesses and industries that are so interlaced.
It occurred to me when I started here in 2009 that we were covering casinos, The Walk, the Wildwood Boardwalk, the B&Bs in Cape May and so on as silos. However, they are woven into the economic fabric of what we refer to as southern New Jersey. I wanted a team to look at the overall picture and the trends rather than the little pieces.
We’re well on our way with this team and it proved more valuable than we ever thought it would be as we covered the state’s growing role in Atlantic City.
As usual, I am also open to suggestions on how to cover the news better, and I am especially interested in your thoughts on covering “The Spectacle.”
Neill Borowski is executive editor / content director of The Press of Atlantic City.