Introducing Atlantic City
‘AC,’ as locals call it, has been on some roller coaster ride since 1977. That’s when the state approved gambling casinos in the hope of revitalizing this fast-fading resort town – known throughout the late 19th and early 20th century for its grand boardwalk and Ocean Pier, the world’s first oceanside amusement pier, and later as the inspiration for Monopoly’s game board. And while the sudden influx of hotel-casinos may have lined the pockets of those in the biz (including the infamous Donald Trump), it hasn’t necessarily done much for the rest of the town, still mired in poverty in many areas. The 2006 loss of the Miss America Pageant – hosted in Atlantic City’s convention hall since 1921 – was just the latest blow to folks here.
Luckily, things have begun to shift for visitors in recent years, mainly because one new hotel-casino, the Borgata, has brought new glitz and glamour here, causing more bright spots – including a slew of nightclubs and a spiffy new shopping mall, the Pier at Caesars (www.thepiershopsatcaesars.com), jutting out into the Atlantic – to follow. Things are definitely looking up. And a trip here is worth it for anyone interested in a truly complex American snapshot – with some casino fun, to boot.
Last updated: Sep 8, 2010