Today, the day after Labor Day, 2014, some 8,000 employees of Atlantic City’s closing casinos are looking for work. Some say it’s market saturation, others say mismanagement. My opinion for the blame falls on many shoulders:
1) AC itself. For over a decade, most of Atlantic City took the arrogant approach to marketing – simply depending on day-trippers and bus-trippers, while competition grew all around them. Their measly little airport, and the long trip by car with tons of tolls is just not a trip people want to make as much anymore – especially when casinos are less than an hour away in the northeast.
2) Mismanagement by Caesars. Originally Harrah’s & Caesars entertainment, the two merged to be one of the big boys in gaming. What does it have to show for it? A financial hole deeper than the Grand Canyon, properties not kept up throughout the US, and closings, such as Showboat. Did you know that Showboat in AC was making money? And yet, those employees are without jobs because Caesars wants to push everyone to their center boardwalk area.
3) Market Saturation. Yup, it’s true. We’ve got a whole bunch of casinos out here in the northeast – spread out so that an hour drive will bring you close to some casino anywhere from Maryland to Maine. But isn’t it that great American Spirit, founded by a hard-working blue collar class, that found new ways of prosperity when the chips are down? All AC did was build a few retail outlets and said “Here we are, the East-coast Vegas – we know you’ll come here no matter what.” And $5.00 parking – after all those tolls getting there, who wants to deal with that? There is no status quo – either you pass them by or they pass you, and AC has been passed by is for the past decade has been lurking behind the pack.
What happened is the closing of the Atlantic Club, formerly the Atlantic City Hilton, and the 6th casino built in AC 24 years ago – as the Golden Nugget by Steve Wynn!…………….Gone
What happened is today, Showboat is closed. A mainstay next to the Taj Mahal for low and mid -rollers – heck it even had a bowling alley before many big names out west like Stations and South Point added them to their resorts………………Gone
What happened is Revel, the billion-dollar beauty couldn’t make it. The hotel that it was compared to was Las Vegas’s Cosmopolitan. Cosmo found a buyer, it’s still in business and turning around. Revel…………….Gone
What happened is Trump Plaza is closing. Did you know Harrah’s initially built it with Trump as a joint-venture? Yup, and then pulled out, letting Trump run it. In 2013, it seemed the property would be sold and renovations would be made. But, to no avail. It’s deterioration made it undesirable. Trump Plaza……………………Gone very soon.
You know who aren’t to blame? all those men and women who gave their heart and soul to those casinos – many from the day it opened. To those loyal AC casino employees of you, I pray that the best is ahead of you. AC let you down.
N E Time Gambling