Regarding the Sept. 21 story, "Christie OKs racing horses on Atlantic City beach," about the planned American Palio race:
Isn't it ironic that such a fuss is being made about the approval of one afternoon of horse racing on the Atlantic City beach when we have a vacant, dusty, but at one time world-renowned horse-racing facility just up the pike in McKee City?
Yes, I am sure that visitors already in town might like to see the palio spectacle, but one afternoon of horses sprinting on the sand will definitely not be bringing any large number of new visitors to the city.
On the other hand, if the casinos would partner with Atlantic City Race Course and promote a real turf festival at the track, that would truly increase casino room occupancy and related business during the spring or fall. But it would require ACRC to expand beyond its current one week of live racing per year. It would also require cooperation, for mutual benefit, between the horse-racing industry and the casino industry. It makes perfect sense for the entire regional economy.
I am certain that those in the gambling industry are aware of the huge, positive impact meets such as those in Saratoga, N.Y., and Del Mar, Calif., have on their local economies. Horse racing fans flock to these one month (or so) races and make short vacations in these areas scheduled around the races they want to see. We should pursue a similar approach.