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Atlantic City down, but NOT out

Last edit: anawas on Monday, 8th September 2014 10:09 pm
Last response by mstokes 12th September 3:35pm

I just got back from a weekend trip to Atlantic City, and my experiences pretty much confirmed everything good and bad that's been said about the gaming scene there.

The good:
-- $10 minimum on 6:5 blackjack and $15 minimum on 3:2 blackjack, even on a Saturday night.
-- Aggressive new-member offers from the remaining casinos as they jockey for players from closed casinos.
-- A delightful experience at Resorts, which might be my new favorite small(ish) casino outside of Vegas. Hand shuffles at all blackjack tables, good promotions ($50 in match play!), and a great year-round beach bar facility.
-- There were fewer poker rooms, but they always had a crowd. We're down to Trump Taj (for now), Tropicana (I think), a combined Caesars/Bally's room, and good space at each of the 3 Marina-area casinos (Nugget, Harrah's, Borgata).
-- A safe walking path along the water's edge between Borgata, Harrah's and Golden Nugget.
-- The weekend crowd (from Philly, South Jersey, and maybe NYC) was vibrant, plentiful and good looking.
-- I saw no fights, but plenty of quality people-watching among the drunks.
-- I didn't get mugged, threatened, harassed, propositioned, or killed (obviously).

The bad:
-- Though almost every Boardwalk property has a beach bar or a pier now, AC and its casinos are not monetizing the beach, boating, fishing, and excursion/recreation opportunities enough.
-- I worry about how the casino closures will affect the secondary businesses on the boardwalk near the casinos. A companion was concerned about the effects of a darkened boardwalk at night.
-- Thousands of jobs have been lost in a city that already had a crazy high unemployment rate.
-- The dismantling conversion of Bally's Wild West Casino, which was my favorite haunt, into something with a handful of slot machines, a mechanical bull and a dance floor. The rest of the sub-casino is now a combined WSOP poker room for Caesars and Bally's.
-- Casino floors are still filled with smoke, though the rest of the properties are nonsmoking now.
-- Some unfriendly dealers and servers (but who could blame them?)
-- Tropicana's original casino and Trump Taj Mahal feel very dated now.
-- I noticed sub-optimal casino directional signage, out-of-order promotional kiosks (even at Borgota) and other little details.
-- The pleasant, but useless-to-the-bottom-line light and water show at Caesars' Pier was out of order and did not give the impression that its repair was a priority.
-- Tolls, variable parking fees, and astronomical weekend room rates put a serious dent in people's budget before they even start spending cash on gaming or other entertainment.

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 hobgoblin7777 responded on Tuesday, 9th September 2014

Looks like the Taj may be heading for BQ/closure. Keep your fingers crossed it doesn't.

 mstokes responded on Wednesday, 10th September 2014

I was down in AC this past weekend, just like the past few weekends haha. I was only at Borgata, but that place was so jam packed even more so than usual. It seemed a lot of people were getting their Borgata Rewards cards, as they were tier matching the closed casinos.

But as for why are Atlantic City room rates so expensive, I think they are so expensive because people are willing to pay it. During the summer months, AC has a 92% occupancy rate.

 anawas replied on Wednesday, 10th September 2014

92% on Saturdays, or every night? Also, I unfortunately see room rates climbing HIGHER, since there is less of a supply of rooms and reasonably steady demand.

 mstokes replied on Friday, 12th September 2014

I'm not sure if it was just Saturday's or not, the article only said it was that during the summer months. Afterwards it was in the 60s. I don't think filling rooms was a problem at Revel, I know many times I looked at their reservation calendar and the weekends were sold out.