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Atlantic City Convention Chief Tells NLA Board Of City Rebound

Posted on October 29, 2014 by Tom Halligan - Also by this author - About the author

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.Contrary to news accounts on the last nail being hammered into the Atlantic City coffin, the oceanside gambling resort city, while experiencing casino closings due to declining gaming revenues, remains a top tourism destination with a future far from doom and gloom.

That was the message relayed by Gary Musich, vice president of convention development at the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA), who addressed the National Limousine Association Board of Directors during their quarterly face-to-face meeting Oct. 18, held before the start of the recent LCT-NLA Show East.

Musich was invited to speak to the board to outline the city’s growth plans in light of the recent closing of casino hotels because of declining gaming revenues due to growing industry competition along the East Coast. He thanked the association for its continued support of the city, especially as the LCT-NLA Show East relocates to Harrah’s Resort and its new convention center, located in the growing and trendy Marina District.

Musich updated the board on the city’s long-term master plan — already in effect— that calls for a more balanced economy that relies less on casino gaming, and more on tourism, retail business sales, conventions and conferences.

“We’re at the point now where we are bottoming out on gaming, but our master plan has been in effect and our plan is to take Atlantic City backs to its roots as a top vacation resort, with casino gaming as an adjunct to that mission,” he said.

For example, Musich noted that the city’s convention business has witnessed five years of continual growth, and such mega retail giants as Bass Pro shops is breaking ground on a new 90,000-square-foot store opening on Atlantic Avenue in 2015, which will generate more regional visitors and tourists to the city.

“What you won’t read about now is the positive development going on in the city. Sure, we discuss the negatives of casino consolidations, but the other side of the story is that our five-year master plan is already changing the dynamics of the city,” Musich said.

He pointed out the growing Marina District and the new Harrah’s convention center, the recent purchase of the closed Revel Hotel Casino, the $55 million in room renovations going on at the Golden Nugget, and ongoing improvements to major arteries throughout the region, and expansion of airlines (United started operations recently) at the Atlantic City International airport.

“Five years from now you will see more tourism revenue coming from non-casino economy and that is where we will continue to grow and thrive.

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