Build it and they will come, so the serially mis-referenced adage goes, and with the positive opening of two new casino properties in Atlantic City it would seem to ring true down the east coast shoreline.
High profile ribbon cuttings, oceanside musical events and quintessentially American fourth of July celebrations swelled visitor numbers to the town in recent weeks, but as those operators who have weathered the worst of the last decade will testify to there is a reason that boom and bust are so often paired.
It is not enough to assume that giving players two new entrance lobbies to walk through will be the regenerative spur many press releases have paid tribute to, for there is a multiplicity of reasons behind Atlantic City’s troubles since the new millenium beside the worldwide financial crash.
A social perception abounds that behind the boardwalk (itself in much need of rejuvenation) a poorly planned town rife with societal ills lies. In times gone by Atlantic City was a natural vacation destination for denizens of the eastern seaboard, a seaside playground all but a morning drive away, but little has been done to keep pace with a souring societal view.
Turning the tides of economic fortune cannot rest solely at the feet of casino operators for gaming dollars alone are patently not enough.
An increase in concerts, conferences and events at the new Hard Rock are a positive step in the right direction but everyone from street sellers to the state senate need to start pulling together if the city by the sea is to get back on top.