It was a Thursday afternoon, and a cloud had completely blocked the sun from shining on any part of Atlantic City.
The forecast was dreary, and most beaches looked deserted.
People who would’ve been enjoying the ocean or beach were feeding quarters into crane machines or checking out a roulette table of more than 14,000 jelly beans.
Yes, there are always the casinos. But what if you want to entertain your kids? What if you are (legally) a kid. What if you just don’t feel like gambling today?
Chris Connelly, general manager of Ripley’s Believe it or Not, said attendance at his establishment is completely weather-dependent. When it’s nice out, he sees fewer customers, as people want to be outside. But when it’s overcast, his biggest crowds roll in to see the museum’s 400 exhibits and artifacts.
“You can’t get a tan on a day like today,” Connelly said as clouds hovered over Ripley’s. “When it starts to rain, everyone looks for something to do indoors.”
Between New York and Tennessee avenues, many indoor activities are available for people to turn a rainy day into an enjoyable experience off the sand.
“There’s the Central Pier Arcade and Raceway right there. There’s the A.C. aquarium where people can go in and see the animals indoors, and there are all the shops along the Boardwalk,” he said.
The Tropicana IMAX Theater, Playland Arcade, restaurants and countless T-shirt shops can also help A.C. visitors salvage a gloomy day.
Dea Baldwin, of Northford, Conneticut, was visiting South Jersey with her kids and ran into some crummy weather.
“We figured we’d get off the beach and come to Atlantic City’s (Boardwalk),” she said. “We wanted to look around and find some inside stuff to do.”
Dave Gorfman is the general manager of Central Pier Arcade and Raceway. He said they’re open 7 days a week and offer indoor and outdoor recreation with paintball, go karts and arcade games.
He said the space he, Connelly and others occupy is not like anything else on the Boardwalk.
“There’s not a tremendous amount on the Boardwalk geared specifically toward indoor entertainment but right here. You’re walking distance to restaurants like the Irish Pub and local pizza places, too,” he said.
Gorfman said his arcade draws a large crowd on rainy days specifically because they are the largest redemption arcade in Atlantic City (meaning people come to play and win prizes).
Customers may stop by and put a dollar into a game of Skee-Ball, while others will spend hours over multiple days trying to earn prizes. Gorfman said the arcade will custom-order a prize for patrons to win. And if they end up earning enough tickets but can’t take the prize home, the arcade will mail or deliver the prize to a person’s house.
The busiest months for the arcade are when the temperature drops.
“In Thanksgiving, people will all come in and know we’re open. It’s another avenue for them to fulfill that excitement and do something else in Atlantic City,” he said.