Maybe Atlantic City Does Have a Non-Gambling Future

Some good news for the beleaguered shore town heading into Fourth of July weekend.

How about some good news about Atlantic City as we head into the Fourth of July Weekend?

On June 19th — the same day Revel filed for bankruptcy part two — Garden Pier re-opened. The pier, which is on the north end of the boardwalk between Revel and Showboat, had been heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy. It’s home to both the Atlantic City Historical Museum and Atlantic City Art Center, so this was a big win for the non-gaming tourism sector of Atlantic City that they’re open to the public again. Both museums are free (yes free!).

That same week, Atlantic City mayor Don Guardian announced that the beach at Boardwalk and Park Place will now be the city’s official gay friendly beach.

Atlantic City managed to woo away LGBT Sand Blast weekend from Asbury Park (which also has a gay beach), so this dedication fits with the town’s marketing push to draw LGBT visitors to Atlantic City (also, Guardian is openly gay).

This isn’t exactly a new movement in Atlantic City. Miss’D America, the best drag pageant you’ll ever see, has been in Boardwalk Hall since 2010, and had taken place in a now-closed gay club before that starting in 1990. But it’s ramping up now as the city tries to find a way to draw that not-typical-gambler crowd.

Also, if you’re in town this weekend, the Do AC Sand Sculpting World Cup runs through July 6th. It’s at Pennsylvania Ave. near the Steel Pier.

Follow @byJenAMiller on Twitter.