to revitalize A.C.
Atlantic City has a slogan - "Do AC." But the reality that needs to be recognized is the terrible state of the city's infrastructure. Atlantic City has not addressed its broken infrastructure, which is the main reason for it falling behind other casino markets.
I have some suggestions that would boost the Atlantic City economy for both the casino industry and the city itself.
1. Repave and smooth out both Atlantic and Pacific avenues, like Revel Boulevard.
2. Redo the northern portion of the Boardwalk all the way to Gardners Basin. The area should be touted as a fishermen's heaven, with vendors being allowed to do business there. Additionally, open up more safe swimming areas along the way. Include more restaurants near Gardners Basin. Refurbish the pavilion and add an illuminating sign above it saying "Welcome to The Inlet" at Maine and Atlantic avenues, and expand and improve the children's playground.
3. Create the largest indoor/
outdoor swim park on the East Coast.
And once these areas are improved, then promote all of Atlantic City and all of its variety for a competitive edge no other city or state has.
It seems that the city's problem lies with either short-sighted vision, a broken political system that stymies progress or misplaced financial priorities that keep Atlantic City behind other cities.
In short, the city needs an internal collective determination to "Do the infrastructure." Then, Atlantic City can say, with profit and pride, "Do AC."
The result will mean more visitors and more revenue for the city, the casinos and the state. What are you waiting for, politicians and Casino Reinvestment Development Authority officials?
Let's show the country what we are really about.
We all can play role
in bringing back A.C.
As I listened to the governor's speech May 23, he referred to the new efforts to restart Atlantic City as "renewed enthusiasm." It reminded me of the concept of "New Age" thinking, which encourages people to make positive affirmations of how to change for the better.
As we continue our efforts to "Re-Do AC," let us all be caught up in the "renewed enthusiasm." And remember, there is no "I" in team.
Egg Harbor Township
Art in A.C. helps,
but it's no answer
The recent criticism by state Sen. Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, and Assemblyman John Amodeo, R-Atlantic, that investment in street artwork by Atlantic City's marketing officials will not increase tourism is partially correct, but shortsighted. Similarly, the tourism officials are only partly accurate when they say the artwork enhances the tourism product by making the city appear cleaner and safer.
Having spent a 35-year career in destination marketing and promotion, I know from both firsthand experience and innumerable regional and national tourism-industry studies that visitors will not travel to an area simply because it is attractive any more than people go to a shopping district solely because of its brick sidewalks and decorative streetlights. These things are commendable, but not the reason to visit. They complement a destination's tourism product, but do not anchor it.
Whelan and Amodeo are correct when they call for investment in improving the number and quality of tourism-industry assets. The marketing officials also are correct when they state that art and culture help accomplish that. The development of a multifaceted arts district and the return of the Miss America Pageant are excellent for broadening the resort culturally and will help draw both new and repeat visitors.
What Atlantic City needs to do is distinguish itself as a visitor destination offering a specific and exceptional tourism product that its competitors do not offer. Then we need to tell people about it.
"Do AC" is not an effective marketing campaign. It is an advertising campaign. Time is running out, and we must brand Atlantic City, not just advertise it. While art is an asset, and the arts district definitely should be pursued, it is secondary. If we have any chance of succeeding, we need to enlarge - and help finance - the tourism product with more primary entertainment venues, such as Margaritaville.
Such venues, especially those showcasing national celebrities, make Atlantic City unique and provide prospective visitors with specific and exciting reasons to choose Atlantic City over the competition. Those venues, surrounded and complemented by our seashore, cultural, culinary and shopping attributes, will define Atlantic City as a destination, not just a beach resort with casinos.
BLAIR W. LEARN