Photo via stadiumjourney.com
Last night, the Jersey shore got a much needed reprieve from bad news: The Miss America pageant (say what you will about its retrograde values) returned to Atlantic City for the first time in a decade, and on TV and social media, it came across pretty darn well.
Contestants were grouped in different spots along the boardwalk, in shops, in front of local restaurants. There were interstitial transitions between show and commercial that showed the “girls” delighting in ice cream and jitney rides. The aerial views showed the city as a mini-Vegas, the signs as glowing red embers.
The national coverage insistently paid tribute to Atlantic City history, and the fact that the pageant was back where it belonged, as they kept saying. It was one big AC lovefest, and it felt pretty good to see. Put it this way: If Chris Christie was watching, he didn’t feel like he was going to throw up. And if there’s any way that some of that AC luster can shine on Seaside Park and Seaside Heights, all the better.
Photo: Liz Spikol
Just as we were lauding Margate, NJ’s housing market and the changing perception of Atlantic City, today comes this headline on philly.com: “Bust to boom: Can strippers save Atlantic City?” Putting aside the groan-worthy pun, the headline not only implies that Atlantic City needs saving but that it’s gotten so desperate, it’s left to strippers to do it.
But the salacious headline is a bit of an overstatement. We’re just talking about one venue: a Scores club in the Trump Taj Mahal, which is far from the first time time the casinos have seen any skin. As the Associated Press’ Wayne Perry points out, both Revel and the Borgata have burlesque shows, while “dancers in bras and panties are common on gambling floors.” (You’re welcome.)
Photo: Laura Kicey
The second quarter numbers weren’t kind to Atlantic City, which increasingly has competition from, well, places like Pennsylvania, for example. Last week, writing for the Washington Post, J. Freedom Du Lac called AC’s drop in gaming revenue in the last few years “an epic losing streak.” On the other hand, Du Lac notes, there’s more to do in Atlantic City than ever:
There are more nightclubs, more restaurants, more concerts, more burlesque shows, more shopping, more outdoor activities, more walkable spaces, more stuff...
And all that more translates, it seems: “According to the most recent internal research, positive perceptions of Atlantic City are on the rise.”
Photo: Liz Spikol
From the New York Times: “A scant 125 miles away, in and around this gambling mecca [of Atlantic City], are a clutch of Vietnamese cafes that arguably rank among the nation’s most authentic…”
From Next City: “Cleverly designed by the prominent New York landscape architecture firm Balmori Associates, the park consists of undulating berms bookended by two earthen mounds intended, Fung says, to riff on the boardwalk’s iconic dipping-and-rising roller coasters.”
Photo of Ocean City Boardwalk by Laura Kicey
Okay, we’re fairly certain that even those who didn’t make the list of Budget Travel Magazine’s Most Awesome Boardwalks have not reached a pit of despair so deep that they’ve been reduced to pursuing drug addiction. But these debates can get passionate, that’s for sure, when the stakes are high.
Everyone at the Jersey Shore is looking for tourism this summer, worried that Sandy, or national perceptions of Sandy, will keep people away. Budget Travel included area boardwalks at Atlantic City, Point Pleasant, Wildwood and Rehoboth–but did not mention Ocean City, NJ, which does, indeed, seem odd. But Ocean City, Maryland, got a strong mention, and perhaps the writers felt it would be too clunky to have two Ocean Cities on the list (far-fetched, we realize).
Photo: Liz Spikol
Not enough people going to Atlantic City? Then the Atlantic City Alliance will bring AC to the people. The ”Live From AC” roadshow starts this weekend in Philly with a pop-up casino resort (15,000 lbs. and two stories) at the waterfront that includes “key AC experiences” all framed by the “DO AC” advertising campaign.
The Alliance is a nonprofit that markets the city to tourists, which has been an uphill battle in recent months. So the organization has partnered with BMF, a company that helps build brands with experiential marketing of this kind. This roadshow will also go to Baltimore and NYC.
In a statement, Atlantic City Alliance President Liza Cartmell said the goal of the roadshow is to ”introduce AC to people in a new way, create a social media buzz and represent all 12 casinos in key markets.” She said it’s an opportunity to engage “our target audience of fun seekers.” (Are there fun seekers in Philly? If so, where do they pass the time? Not on SEPTA, that’s for sure.)
In the wake of Ocean City’s ranking as No. 1 for vacation home buying, Cape May gets in on the action as the No. 1 shore destination for renters. The rankings were released by FlipKey, a TripAdvisor product that serves as a HomeAway-style portal for users who want to rent vacation homes.
However, as Jen Miller points out on the Philly Post, the results–derived from reservation requests made through FlipKey–are probably not as scientifically reliable as a study from Johns Hopkins, say.
On July 1, Ventnor, NJ, will see the groundbreaking of 27 luxury residences called The Waves. Seven of the units will be built on the boardwalk and the rest will be beach-block units. Here’s how the pricing breaks down:
Beach-block units: 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, 2,600 square feet starts at $749,000
Oceanfront units: 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 2,800 square feet starts at $1.29 million
As for amenities?
So what’s up for today? Sean Benschop, the equipment operator on the site of the building collapse, goes to a preliminary hearing to determine if there’s enough evidence to move ahead with all the charges against him, including that of manslaughter. Over at Reddit Philadelphia, folks are talking about ways to stay safe in Philly, and weird places to go when you visit.
And now, for some headlines…
<"http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1245-S-Creek-Rd-West-Chester-PA-19382/2115596032_zpid/">This Chester County homeis on the market for almost $4 million.
Prudential HomExpert first-quarter report has an interactive tool that allows users to compare counties in the Delaware Valley by three different metrics: number of properties sold, median price of properties sold, and average days on the market.
The counties included are the usual suspects in our area (Chester, Delaware, Bucks, Philadelphia and Montgomery) along with five counties in New Jersey (Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Salem and Gloucester). The survey is rounded out by New Castle and Kent counties in Delaware.
So who fares the best?