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Thread: Atlantic City Seeks New Image: Las Vegas's

  1. #31
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Are there any boats that ferry passengers from the harbor @ NJ / NYC > AC?

  2. #32

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    ^ They ought to run a high-speed ferry, like Hong Kong-Macau or Boston-Provincetown. Hydrofoil would be nice.

    Convenient for day trips.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Dynamicdezzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686
    Why the hell wouldn't they just extend the North Jersey Coast line? It's a shorter distance, and it's a much quicker route than going right by Philly. Am I missing something here?

    This is a project between the casinos and NJ Transit. The casinos would pay the agency to run direct service on the weekends only. This is not NJ Transit's doing, which is why they are only utilizing existing infrastructure. I doubt the casinos are willing to invest all that money in expanding someone else's business.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by stache
    When I found the above article I was actually looking for information if there ever was a train that went all the way to AC following the shore line. Does anybody know? Bay Head is about 40 miles from AC, and for some reason you have to change trains at Long Branch to go any further South.



    North Jersey Coast Line - Electric trains operate daily between New York Penn Station and Long Branch, 63.9 miles. On weekdays, diesel-powered trains operate from Hoboken Terminal and Newark Penn Station to Bay Head. Off-peak and weekend service to Bay Head is provided by diesel-powered shuttles from Long Branch, 15.7 miles. Serves 24 stations. On weekends in the summer, extra diesel trains run direct from Hoboken and Newark to the Jersey Shore, and NJ Transit operates the Pony Express to Monmouth Park racetrack.

    There was no line that followed the shore all the way down to A.C. continuing from Bay Head, however the Central RR of NJ - Southern Division branched off the NJCL at Red Bank.

    Central RR of NJ “Famous for the route of the Blue Comet which ran from Jersey City to Atlantic City from 1929 to 1941…”

    http://www.thebluecomet.com/cnjsoudiv.html

  5. #35
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Wink Thank you NY!

    My hero... : )

  6. #36
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Default Further enhancing my geek quotient -

    I found this map of the Blue Comet line. You follow the red line to Winslow Junction, then the line to AC. So it looks like the NY/AC train line was always somewhat circuitous. It must be the pull of Philly, which makes sense. Long Island is more convenient for NY as a resort area.
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  7. #37
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Good Map!

    You'd think you could get to A.C. from New York on the Pennsylvania Railroad, no? They have that, the B&O Railroad, the Short Line, and the Reading, right?

  8. #38
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    Default Work in progress.

    Here's a map of part of the Penn RR system from 1893. They had to work their way around that Amboy bay, plus the large inlet of water above AC. The second map is part of the B&O RR from 1876. As far as I can tell, the Short Line served South Jersey and had a line that went from AC to Ocean City. There's a good background article at http://www.7miletimes.com/seaisletimes/railroad.htm The third map shows part of the Reading RR from the 20's.
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    Last edited by stache; June 24th, 2006 at 12:36 PM. Reason: Multiple map search.

  9. #39
    The Dude Abides
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    GlobeSt.com
    Last updated: June 26, 2006 10:56am

    Investors Plan to Buy 11-Acre Site

    By Eric Peterson

    ATLANTIC CITY-A long, vacant three-block tract at the southern end of this city’s boardwalk is about to change hands and may finally be developed. According to a published report, an investment group is set to pay $88 million for the 11-acre site, which is owned by the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort and its parent, Colony Capital LLC.

    According to the report, the investment group is led by Wallace R. Barr, the former president and CEO of Caesars Entertainment, who stepped down from that position when the company was bought by Harrah’s Entertainment, and by Curtis Bashaw, the former executive director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, a state agency. Bashaw, who left the CRDA post last October, currently heads Cape Advisors Inc., a Cape May, NJ-based firm that operates historic hotel properties there and office and residential properties in two other states. All of the parties involved in the pending transaction declined to comment or were unavailable.

    According to reports, what Barr and Bashaw have in mind for the site is a small casino/hotel property. The 11 acres is considered too small for a mega hotel of the type that has been rising here lately, such as the Borgata. The site once held the Dunes Casino Hotel, which was never completed and was finally demolished in the early 1990s after sitting vacant for five years.

    Copyright © 2006 ALM Properties, Inc.

  10. #40
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    From Saltwater Taffy to Louis Vuitton


    Luxury boutiques are among the 85 tenants signed so far to move into the Pier at Caesars, which is scheduled to open in June.


    The new shopping center juts into the ocean near Caesars.


    By TERRY PRISTIN

    Published: April 19, 2006

    ATLANTIC CITY — The shops along this city's storied Boardwalk tend to be modest establishments with names like Sully's Pizza and 99˘ Everything.

    But soon, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Salvatore Ferragamo — brands that evoke Fifth Avenue and Rodeo Drive rather than rolling chairs and saltwater taffy — will be added to the mix. These luxury boutiques are among about 85 shops and restaurants that have signed leases at the Pier at Caesars, the gambling resort's first upscale mall, a glossy structure of three and a half stories that looks like a pale green ship jutting into the ocean. Linked to the casino by a skybridge, the pier will also house the city's first wedding chapel.

    The lead developer of the pier, which is scheduled to open in June, is Gordon Group Holdings, a privately owned company in Greenwich, Conn., founded by Sheldon Gordon. Mr. Gordon created the Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas, a project that seemed daring when it was built in the early 1990's. But the Forum Shops, with its gigantic talking "Roman" statues, went on to be among the top-performing malls in the nation and is credited as the catalyst for the transformation of Las Vegas into a destination for shoppers as well as gamblers.

    Gordon Group and its partner, the Taubman Company, a real estate investment trust based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., say that Atlantic City is poised for a similar metamorphosis. "This town is shifting already," said Scott Gordon, the company's president and Sheldon's son, in a recent interview in the construction trailer next to the pier. "There's enough meat on the bone for someone not interested in gambling to come here."

    The pier — which received $43 million from the state Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and a $100 million construction loan from Eurohypo, a German bank that invests heavily in American real estate — will be the third heavily subsidized shopping center to open here since 2003.

    That year, the Cordish Company of Baltimore opened the Walk, an outlet center in a previously drug-infested neighborhood. Another shopping center, the Quarter at Tropicana, has branches of the Palm and P. F. Chang chain restaurants, and a Las Vegas-style blue ceiling with clouds.

    Today, the city is awash with hotel, casino and retail expansion projects and condo developments, but Wall Street analysts say that the pier is a gamble. "I would call it fascinating, very interesting and very creative as retail goes," said Matthew L. Ostrower, a REIT analyst at Morgan Stanley, "but I would also call it high risk. They are in uncharted waters here."

    Mr. Gordon concedes as much. Some of the most sought-after tenants — no more than a handful, he maintains — will not pay a set rent but will be charged initially according to the sales they generate. The developers will also absorb much of the expense of creating the stores, a cost known as tenant improvement, or T.I.

    "We don't build cookie-cutter projects that make sense to a lot of people when they first see them," he said. "We like going into underdeveloped, underappreciated markets, and we know we need large T.I. before we go out and talk to tenants. We know that going to Gucci and asking them to go to a market like Atlantic City is a reach."

    Though Atlantic City had almost as many visitors last year as Las Vegas did (35 million, as opposed to 38.6 million, according to each cities convention and visitors authorities), there are striking contrasts between them. About two-thirds of Atlantic City's visitors are day-trippers, while visitors to Las Vegas stay an average of 3.5 days. Tourism generates $36.7 billion for Las Vegas, but only $6.5 billion for Atlantic City.

    Real estate prices in nearby suburbs have escalated, but Atlantic City (population 40,500) remains poor, with a median household income of $27,000, compared with $42,000 for the nation as a whole, according to the 2000 census. Only 10.4 percent of Atlantic City's residents are college graduates.

    Mr. Ostrower said that Taubman, whose relationship with Gordon began more than two decades ago with their co-development of the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, has also hedged its risk. The partnership, announced last year, required Taubman to invest only $4 million at first. A second payment of about $20 million is not due until six months after the project opens. The final installment will equal 7 percent of the project's net operating income in 2007.

    "This is the way you structure a deal if you are worried about how well the property is going to do," Mr. Ostrower said.

    But Robert S. Taubman, the chief executive of Taubman, said that the Gordon Group sought this arrangement to "capture most of the value creation."

    There have been bumps in the road, however. As the cost of the project escalated — Mr. Gordon said the price tag is now about $200 million — the Gordon Group ran short of capital and Taubman declined to move up its payment schedule, said two participants in the negotiations. The problem was resolved recently when Gordon got a loan of about $20 million from the Starwood Capital Group. Originally built a century ago as an amusement park known as the Million-Dollar Pier, the pier was converted in 1950 into an inward-looking shopping mall with T-shirt shops and other low-end retail. When Caesars bought the mall in 1996, the Gordon Group managed it for a few years. In 2003, Gordon signed a 75-year ground lease with Caesars, now owned by Harrah's Entertainment.

    But it was not until the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa opened in the city's marina district that summer and became an instant success that the company determined that it made sense to go after high-end retail tenants, Mr. Gordon said.

    The city's first luxury hotel, Borgata has attracted a younger, more affluent crowd. "It's difficult to get in there on the weekend unless you're a rated player," said Warren J. Marr, the director of the hospitality and leisure consulting practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, referring to serious gamblers.

    Richard B. Hodos, a principal at Madison HGCD, a retail real estate consulting and brokerage company in New York, was originally skeptical about the project but wound up advising a designer to open a store at the pier. (The name of the designer has not been made public because the lease has not been signed.) "I know of no one who goes to Atlantic City," he said. "But when we looked at the average expenditure in the casinos, and the profile of the high rollers, in some cases it exceeded what we find in Las Vegas."

    While the concept for the pier was inspired by the Forum at Caesars, the design was not. Rather, the goal was to take full advantage of the site, echoing the wood flooring of the Boardwalk and opening up the building to panoramic shoreline views.

    "This is a different kind of mystical and romantic experience, a walk off the edge of the earth," said David P. Manfredi, a partner in Elkus-Manfredi, the architects who developed the original concept for the building and designed the exterior. (The Rockwell Group designed the common spaces.)

    As a nod to the electric signs that created a sensation when they were installed on the Atlantic City piers in the 1920's, the new mall will be festooned with L.E.D. screens. A water show set to music is meant to draw visitors to the end of the long and narrow pier, Mr. Manfredi said.

    Talking statues, however, will be nowhere in sight. "We didn't want to create a kitschy project," Mr. Gordon said.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  11. #41
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    How odd that the Borgata is away from the beach.

  12. #42
    Senior Member Dynamicdezzy's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Atlantic City casinos shut down
    12 facilities forced to close due to budget battle in New Jersey

    Associated Press
    Updated: 8:45 a.m. PT July 5, 2006

    TRENTON, N.J. - If there’s one sure thing in this city of uncertainties, it’s always been this: Casinos find a way to keep the dice rolling.

    Until now.

    Atlantic City’s 12 casinos — from the three Trumps to the Tropicana — shut down their gambling floors Wednesday morning for the first time ever, their hand forced by a stalemate over the state budget.

    The casinos’ hotels, which attract millions of gamblers and vacationers every year, will remain open because they don’t require state involvement in their day-to-day operations, but no gambling will be allowed because the state casino inspectors who keep tabs on the money are off the job until lawmakers approve the budget. State parks and beaches will also close because of the lack of staff.

    Minutes before the 8 a.m. deadline Wednesday, gamblers were still at the slot machines with their cups of coins.

    “What else can you do down here besides gamble?” said Janice Sidwa, 60, who was in the midst of a four-day trip to the city.

    Missed deadline
    The problem started when the Legislature missed its July 1 constitutional deadline to pass the budget. Gov. Jon S. Corzine ordered state offices shutdown Saturday, all non-essential state government operations closed, and furloughed more than half the state’s employees.

    Only about 36,000 people in vital roles such as child welfare, state police and mental hospitals remained on the job.

    Without an approved spending plan, New Jersey can’t pay its state employees.

    That means state parks, beaches, campgrounds and historic sites are also closing down — another smack to residents, with school out and the summer heat sizzling.

    The casino shutdowns are a particularly hard blow to the state’s coffers as lawmakers fight over how to close a $4.5 billion hole in the governor’s state budget.

    The Atlantic City casinos have a $1.1 billion payroll and spend billions more on goods and services. The state gets an 8 percent cut of their revenue — about $1.3 million a day.

    “They’re going to lose a lot of money,” said Jerome Harper, 42, of Philadelphia, who was playing the slots at Resorts Atlantic City. “It’s bad. Why close it down when you could just do your job and put the budget together? That’s what they’re paid for.”

    The Legislature, meanwhile, is under orders to get to work.

    New address by Corzine
    Corzine planned to address all 120 state lawmakers again Wednesday morning about the impasse.

    The dispute — between the governor and his fellow Democrats who control the Legislature — centers on Corzine’s plan to raise the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to help overcome a $4.5 billion budget deficit in his $31 billion spending plan. The proposal would cost the average New Jersey family an estimated $275 per year.

    Casino executives were busy trying to make sure the shutdown was orderly.

    Up to 15,000 casino employees would be thrown out of work by the closings, and that number could double if the casinos remain closed through the weekend, according to Robert McDevitt, president of Local 54 of UNITE HERE, a labor union that represents rank-and-file casino hotel workers.

    Police Chief John Mooney worried that the sudden evacuation of the casinos could lead to problems with drunken driving, street crime and labor unrest. If the shutdown continues, casino workers who aren’t being paid could make trouble, he said.

    “This is a state-created disaster,” Mooney said.

    The gamblers were well aware of the loss for the city.

    “This is what brings the money in,” said Bertha Arrington, 57, of Baldwin, N.Y., sitting at slot machine Tuesday.

  13. #43
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    GlobeSt.com

    Last updated: July 18, 2006 09:28am

    $1B Redevelopment Set To Roll

    By Eric Peterson



    ATLANTIC CITY-A sweeping redevelopment plan has been unveiled for this city’s blighted Southeast Inlet section, and when it’s all built out, the total price tag could be in the $1-billion area. The plan covers a 10-block vacant area on the northern end of this city’s oceanfront boardwalk.
    “There was a time when the Southeast Inlet was a desirable place to live, and I think you’re going to see history repeat itself,” says Tom Scannapieco, president of the Scannapieco Development Co. of New Hope, PA, who’s behind the plan. “Atlantic City is just emerging.”

    The plan calls for as many as 19 residential condo buildings, along with a major retail component. Morgan Stanley Gaming Holdings Inc. is also planning to develop a new casino resort property on a 20-acre.

    And while Scannapieco is behind the plan, and his company’s Bella Condominiums, already completed, is the catalyst, a number of other developers have signed on to develop properties within the site. Altogether, more than 1,300 residential units have been confirmed for the site, according to Scannapieco. The latter has also gotten the mayor and city council to change, by proclamation, the name of the region from Southeast Inlet to North Beach.

    Scannapieco’s Bella Condos consists of 200 units in 27 stories. Additional commitments have come from Simdag Investment, a Tampa, FL-based company with an office in Sea Isle City, which is set to build Victoria Tower, a 38-story luxury building with 400 units. Jim Maggs, a Brielle-based developer will also build Marbella, featuring 331 units and 36 stories.

    The Miami-based Lennar Corp., meanwhile, will add Reflections, a mid-rise condo building, to the redubbed North Beach mix. And Prestigious Homes, based in Ventnor, an Atlantic City suburb, will add 250 units adjacent to Scannapieco’s Bella property. Additional developers are expected to be announced for sites within North Beach.

    Scannapieco first got involved in Atlantic City’s long-term redevelopment two decades ago, since building some $60 million worth of mid-level housing. Most of that has come in the city’s Northeast Inlet.

    Copyright © 2006 ALM Properties, Inc.

  14. #44

    Default AC Ferries?

    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    Are there any boats that ferry passengers from the harbor @ NJ / NYC > AC?
    Great idea, but Harrah's already tried it in the early 80's I believe. Supposedly the tides between NYC and AC were so rough that passengers we all arriving sick and had to be sent back in limos.

    Not sure how newer boats would do, but it is worth a look.

    The new train service sounds exciting, but at 2.5 hours, not more time saving than driving. For car-less NYC people, like me, it will offer a nice alternative to the bus. Hopefully the train crowd will be made of a more affluent crowd and a lively one too!
    Last edited by American Gaming Guru; October 19th, 2006 at 04:04 PM.

  15. #45
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by American Gaming Guru
    Supposedly the tides between NYC and AC were so rough that passengers we all arriving sick and had to be sent back in limos.
    Don't know if they should blame the tides / boat ...

    Last time I was there AC itself made me queasy

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