On Friday, June 27, 2014, Mayor Guardian released a statement regarding yesterday’s news from Caesars.
“When I first ran for office over a year ago, Atlantic City was in the midst of radical change. We knew that gaming revenues have declined. But this is not just an Atlantic City issue, this is a state issue. It is also a gaming industry issue and a national issue because other cities have experienced these same pressures from the expansion of gaming.
Atlantic City is undergoing a massive economic transition. We know it is painful for those who are losing their casino jobs. Atlantic City is creating new jobs, building new attractions and diversifying our economy beyond just gaming. We have cranes in the air building more retail and more convention center space. We have major new, non-gaming investment in Atlantic City from private industry and they are seeing results.
The biggest indicator that Atlantic City is in the process of reinventing itself is that while gaming revenues are down, our non-gaming revenues have increased. Our hotel occupancy is strong year-round and third-party revenues are increasing. These are positive trends that have been underappreciated. Making sure everyone knows this significant rising trend will be a huge emphasis of my Administration.
We are increasing our efforts to deliver more tourist attractions and special events activities for people to enjoy outside of the gaming industry. Atlantic City has never been cleaner or safer. Our crime rates are declining, major infrastructure projects are underway, marketing and promotion efforts are reaching bigger audiences, and outside investors are realizing the true opportunities that Atlantic City represents outside of gaming.
In partnership with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), we have attracted over $700 million in capital investment in Atlantic City with over $290 million currently in the process. They are leading the way in helping to grow our convention and conference business. The Atlantic City Alliance (ACA) has done a tremendous job marketing Atlantic City in bringing more visitors here for non-gaming activities.
And the ACA continues to let the world know about our world famous boardwalk, exhilarating air shows, fascinating sand sculptures, challenging marathons, patriotic parades, beautiful fireworks, colorful 3D lightshows, sensational late night life, and delightful fine dining. Working together with the CRDA, ACA, and all other entities within Atlantic City and the State of New Jersey to promote our tourist and non-gaming attractions is where the future of Atlantic City lies.
Atlantic City has a long and storied history of reinventing itself. Atlantic City’s best days are still ahead. Today’s announcement was an expected curve in the road. We are taking every turn head on and will continue to move forward. Atlantic City’s future will be diversified and prosperous again. Smart investors should take note – now is the time to invest in Atlantic City.
For all these reasons, this is why I believe that Atlantic City’s best days are still head of us.”