As often as I’ve written about Newark, I’ve also been writing a lot about Atlantic City (As a Mets fan, I clearly must believe in turnaround stories just to maintain my sanity.) And AC is an ongoing turnaround story, the latest chapter of which is the beginning of its new promotional campaign.
According to PressofAtlanticCity.com, the new slogan, to be announced officially shortly, will be “Do A.C.” This will replace “Always Turned On,” its tag line since 2003. So the $30 million campaign will continue a double entendre, but it does raise concerns? Besides gambling, what else is there to “do” in AC?
The city is making progress with the opening-momentarily Revel, and a $50 million renovation of Borgata but that’s only one element of what has to be a major turnaround. There has to be more to do there than gambling – dining, shopping, concerts, theater all should be part of making Atlantic City a place to “do” for more than a day trip from somewhere else. And those in charge of the city are looking for more entertainment such as concerts on the Boardwalk as part of a long-term plan.
For example, the new managers at Pier Shops have been working on a plan to attract new tenants , but more retail can’t hurt. The transportation to the city needs to be made more convenient, with more flights coming directly into town, rather than asking people to drive from Philadelphia (not that long) or Newark (long). Most important, the streets beyond the Boardwalk need to feel, as well as be, safe, while interacting with the tourist areas.
Given that Atlantic City is facing a lot of competition these days, as is profiled in the latest Real Estate Forum, it’s really incumbent on the city to give the visitors everything this ad campaign will promise, the real ability to “Do A.C.” You can bring them once, but if you don’t live up to the hype, they won’t come back.