Thursday, January 29, 2009

Free Falling

More bad news for Atlantic City today: Revel, a new blockbuster casino under construction in Atlantic City, has been delayed. They'll finish the exterior of the building and then let it sit for a year. As the daughter and granddaughter (and niece and sibling) of people who have worked their entire lives in the construction industry, I know this is an uncommon step, and only taken in dire circumstances.

Atlantic City is in a free fall.

Six of the town's 11 casinos are in or close to bankruptcy. Revenues continue to slide, jobs shed. This isn't a playground by the sea, folks. It's becoming a graveyard.

I'm the last one to talk smack about the shore, and I try to keep it light on this blog, but those who know me are aware of my deep suspicion of making money off senior citizens' slot habits. But that doesn't undo the fact that casinos are major employers and money makers for the state of New Jersey -- in the gambling and non-gambling sections of casinos. Right now jobs and money are in short supply. This announcement from Revel means lay offs for hundreds of construction workers, and potential jobs for casino workers that won't materialize.

I think it's only going to get worse.

We'll return to the frivolity and fun on the blog tomorrow, but I couldn't let this one pass without a mention.

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6 comments:

jerzegirl said...

It always bothered me too about the casinos busing in seniors from all over the state.

However speaking with one, they told me they didn't spend much money there and they did it because they were lonely. It gave them something to look forward too.

I think his words is more of a commentary on how we treat our senior citizens than the casinos busing them in.

Sorry to hear the news about AC I under Vegas is hurting also... people don't have the extra money like they did in the past.

Vannie Ryanes said...

Jen,

As one who loves AC and a time share holder there also, this is grim news. It is not surprising news but it makes me sad to see the economy spiraling downward nose-dive-style.

Jerzegirl's post reflects my conversations with a few seniors. Going to AC is not just an adventure, often it is simply "something to do with my time."

John and Lisa Howard-Fusco said...

AC couldn't have picked a worse time to make its transition to a megaresort destination mecca. They had to change because other regions are taking away the slots business, and I still believe that it will work - but it's going to take a lot longer now.

And the question still remains: will the city itself ever see any benefit? - John

Steve said...

SPORTS betting would help . . .

ZoeyBella said...

Truth is, Atlantic City WILL turn around. Revel will finish their casino - and one day, the inside too. New casinos will open. The Walk will expand. This is only a setback.

Problem is, there's no telling how long it will last.

Once the "crisis" turns around and AC gets back on its feel and the casino projects come back, the city WILL grow again. But how long before we see that?

foodiedani said...

As someone who frequents AC less and less, I can tell you that the reason is that I win less and less. In fact, over the last six months, I couldn't even break even. I think if the casions would/could start paying out a little, people would come back. Its the same thought I get from every person I know who heads down there.