Atlantic City make-over approved by CRDA

Atlantic City

Atlantic CityAs the US’ second largest gambling centre after Vegas, Altantic City is getting a make-over, and we’re not just talking suck-in pants and hair extensions here. No, this make-over will be the real deal; the architectural equivalent of botox, lipo suction, boob job, the lot.

The planned improvements were announced yesterday, and as Reuters reports, is a revitalisation plan approved unanimously by the board of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which will include an overhaul of its famed boardwalk and news rides on the pier.

With the gambling hub’s casinos falling downwards due to stiff competition from New York, Vegas and Pennsylvania, it’s not surprising the make-over will be a major one. The boardwalk will be completely renovated, including creation of an “entertainment zone” with new lighting, pavilions and art. Some of the city’s major thoroughfares will also get a new look, the report stated.

Authority chairman, James Kehoe, said the iconic Steel Pier will also see a $100million boost in improvements, with new amusement and fairground rides. John F. Palmieri, the authority’s executive director, added that it’s estimated the authority will get about $30 to $40 million a year in gambling revenues to pay for the public projects, while hoping to attract four times that amount in private investments.

“Our mission is to create a city where there is no off season,” said David Sheldon, a planner from The Jerde Partnership who worked on the plan’s outline. “It is about a city that pulls you back in and makes you want to return again and again.”

After seizing control of Atlantic City’s gaming district and making the city’s revitalisation a legislative priority, Governor Chris Christie made a statement following the authority’s vote, entitling the plan a “comeback” for Atlantic City. “We are finally making meaningful progress to turn around the city, grow the economy and create sustainable jobs,” he said.

But will the improvements be enough to put Atlantic City back up there with the big boys?