ATLANTIC CITY — The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority adopted its 2019 operating budget Tuesday with increased investments for the city.

The $6.7 million budget is a 10 percent increase from last year, largely due to increases in medical benefits and payroll, said Executive Director Matt Doherty.

“Keeping the CRDA on firm financial foundation allows us to continue to fund meaningful community projects while engaging potential new investors in attractions and events,” Doherty said.

Included in the budget appropriations was funding for an additional 45 Class II police officers on Pacific and Atlantic avenues, money to launch the Atlantic City Project Office, which will facilitate and coordinate recommendations contained in the state’s report for transitioning government back to local officials, and matching grant funding for a streetscape project on Tennessee Avenue.

“The budget actions that we’re asking the board to take today I believe reflect sound business practice and the commitment to fulfilling Gov. (Phil) Murphy’s vision for a new prosperity in Atlantic City,” said Board Chairman Robert Mulcahy. “The CRDA and the state are delivering quality-of-life improvements while also encouraging greater private investment.”

In 2018, the state agency had a budget of $6.8 million, which included marketing and the Convention Center Division budgets. For 2019, those two items were pulled from the agency’s operating budget, which will now only include the firehouse offices and CRDA’s contribution to the Special Improvement District.

The Convention Center Division, which also oversees Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, has a budget of $9.475 million for 2019.

The 2019 marketing budget is proposed at $5.14 million, with the potential for $5.7 million in revenue generation from local taxes, advertising sales and an additional tax on sports betting signed by Murphy in October.

“It seems to make sense to now put some money behind all the incredibly positive things happening in the city,” said Doherty. “So we’re going to be much more aggressive in marketing the city at this point.”

CRDA also approved a budget for Meet AC, the resort’s convention and visitors bureau. The 2018 budget for Meet AC was $7.2 million, with $6.5 million of that coming from CRDA funding. For 2019, Meet AC requested $7.8 million from CRDA, with the increase largely associated with a desire to increase marketing and promotion of esports in Atlantic City.

The state agency also approved a plan by Showboat Atlantic City owner Bart Blatstein to convert 400 hotel rooms into 264 market-rate rental units. The Showboat, which now operates as a non-gambling hotel, will have 785 hotel rooms remaining to be rented to guests, he said.

Contact: 609-272-7222 ddanzis@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressDanzis

Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments