Atlantic City Boardwalk still alive if not well, despite national media reports

    Hi there. Are you looking to go down the shore, spend a little money, play a couple of hands of poker or two, but are staying at home because Atlantic City’s Boardwalk is gone?

    Newsflash: The Atlantic City Boardwalk is alive and kicking. Reports of its death are greatly exaggerated.

    During Sandy, an easy photo op was of pieces of the Atlantic City Boardwalk in the street. ABC and CNN were just two of the national media outlets that opined over the destruction of the iconic boardwalk, and the Huffington Post asked its readers to share memories of the boardwalk that once was.

    It’s still there. The pictures of a piece of collapsing boardwalk that were tweeted during the storm? It looked like that in May, and the entire inlet section of the Boardwalk has been crumbling for years. It’s not surprising that a hurricane would come in and knock it entirely down.

    (Why it has been left to rot is a different story for a different time, having largely to do with the lavish attention payed to casino-front boardwalk areas while resident areas are left behind, with a splash of the ongoing fued between N.J. Gov. Chris Christie and Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford – but that’s another post for another time.) 

    National media outlets running with this story of the Boardwalk’s death has hurt casino and casino-dependent businesses. Business is still lagging, a strike on top of casinos already losing five operating days to the storm. The Atlantic Club closed two restaurants and laid off 80 workers, a move they attributed to post-storm desolation (though the Atlantic Club has been limping along for some time). The Atlantic City Alliance, which runs the “Do AC” campaign, has changed some if its ads to “Can Do AC” to address the confusion over the Boardwalk. 

    Though who knows if it will work. I was in Berkeley, Calif. this weekend for a conference, and the west coasters I talked to thought the entire Jersey Shore was either under water or washed away. It’s hard to explain to someone who has never been here that the situation is, in some cases, vastly different from block to block let alone over 120 miles of coastline.

    Atlantic City has a tough hill to climb to convice people they’re open. The entire Jersey Shore does.

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