January 21, 2015 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Can Atlantic City be a real place, a city with a life separate from its casino identity? Philadelphia developer John Longacre (American Sardine Bar, South Philly Tap Room, Newbold) thinks so. "Every time a casino closes, I get goose bumps," he said. That's because Longacre - along with a handful of developers who are to gather at a forum at noon Wednesday on new housing opportunities in Atlantic City - sees the epic contraction of the casino market as the key to the city's reinvented future.
January 20, 2015 |
The loss of 8,000 jobs in Atlantic City's casino industry in the last 12 months has sent shock waves through the region's economy, but an even more precipitous collapse is underway in the city's property-tax base. Eight or nine years ago, casinos owned 85 percent of Atlantic City's real estate, based on assessed values, Mayor Don Guardian said last week. Now, they account for about 55 percent of the assessed values and are expected to keep falling, he said. A proposal by New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester)
January 19, 2015 |
ATLANTIC CITY - The winter here is traditionally brutal for resort business, but a glut of vehicles to transport patrons that once filled the casinos has created a new class of beleaguered taxicab drivers. Nadir Khan, 57, is ready to throw in the towel after four years. "I can't make a living," Khan said as he sat in his taxi outside the Trump Taj Mahal last week. From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Khan had two fares totaling $29. The lease on his cab was recently dropped from $275 to $170 a week because business has been so off. Still, Khan - who has three children and a stay-at-home wife to support - can't cover the lower fee, much less his daily gas. "I bring my dreams to America, but now I don't know where to go," said the Pakistani native who arrived in Atlantic City in 1986 - eight years after the first casino, Resorts, opened on the Boardwalk.
January 18, 2015 |
U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle scheduled an emergency hearing for Tuesday in Camden to hear arguments to block the sale of Atlantic City's Revel Casino Hotel by tenants who spent millions on facilities for the failed casino. Angel Management Group, which spent $16 million to build Revel's popular HQ clubs and Center Bar, appealed a Jan. 8 order by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gloria M. Burns that would allow Florida investor Glenn Straub to buy Revel "free and clear of liens, claims, encumbrances, and interests.
January 17, 2015 |
The bankruptcy filing Thursday in Chicago by Caesars Entertainment Corp.'s largest unit includes Caesars and Bally's on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, but not the Harrah's casinos in Chester and Atlantic City. All Caesars properties included in the bankruptcy remain open. "With the overwhelming support of our first-lien bondholders, we are moving forward to implement our previously announced restructuring plan," Caesars chief executive Gary Loveman said. The long-anticipated filing by the Las Vegas gambling giant sets up a jurisdictional fight.
January 15, 2015 |
New Jersey has landed a $29.4 million federal grant to help displaced Atlantic City casino workers affected by recent closings, officials said Tuesday. The National Emergency Grant through the U.S. Department of Labor will be used for training programs to help the workers learn skills for jobs in new fields. Atlantic City lost four of its 12 casinos last year, throwing more than 8,000 people out of work, roughly a fifth of the casino workforce. The gaming industry has struggled to stay afloat amid competition from nearby states' casinos.
January 10, 2015 |
ATLANTIC CITY - The new method of casino taxation under consideration by state legislators could have an unintended casualty: the highly regarded Atlantic City Free Public Library. State legislators acknowledged Thursday that the Atlantic City recovery bills, as currently written, would leave the library in the lurch for much of its current $5 million budget. Library director Maureen Sherr-Frank said Thursday that it would remove 70 percent of the funding. Marshall Spevak, aide to State Sen. Vincent Mazzeo, said legislators would seek a remedy in the bill to prevent any drastic impact on the library, which also operates a branch on Richmond Avenue, and the city's historical museum and archives.
January 10, 2015 |
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gloria M. Burns made two rulings Thursday to help clear the way for the sale of the former Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City to Florida investor Glenn Straub for $95.4 million. Burns said previously she intended to approve the sale, but a sale order - required before the deal can be completed - was not entered because several objections needed to be resolved or formally put off until later. She settled those issues Thursday. She said Straub can buy the $2.4 billion property unencumbered by an agreement Revel had with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and by leases with restaurants, night clubs, and other tenants in the building.
January 7, 2015 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Liza Cartmell, president of the casino-funded Atlantic City Alliance marketing group, said Monday that she was leaving her $400,000-a-year post, ahead of legislation being considered that would disband the group and divert its $30-million-a-year funding. "As you all so painfully know, Atlantic City is in a time of transition and all its major institutions are proactively adapting to a new reality," Cartmell wrote in an e-mail "to my AC friends. " She said the alliance, responsible for the "Do AC" campaign, would continue its work "with a reduced staff and realigned resources and priorities - pending definitive legislative/executive action to resolve its status and possible funding (or not)
January 5, 2015 |
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Last year started out bad and only got worse for Jose and Karla Mercado. Both worked at the Atlantic Club and lost their kitchen jobs last January when the casino became the first of four in Atlantic City to close. They're still out of work, and with their unemployment benefits and food stamps exhausted, and their savings nearly depleted, their only relief comes from the Community Food Bank of New Jersey's branch here in Egg Harbor Township. The Mercados are among 8,000 South Jersey families stung by the casino layoffs that the center, a nondescript yellow building at 6735 Black Horse Pike, is assisting.