End of the Boardwalk empire? The rise and demise of Atlantic City

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Atlantic City is dominated by casino tourism. ‘It has no reason to exist other than to be a resort,’ says one local academic
Atlantic City is dominated by casino tourism. ‘It has no reason to exist other than to be a resort,’ says one local academic / © Michael S Williamson-The Washington Post
Atlantic City is dominated by casino tourism. ‘It has no reason to exist other than to be a resort,’ says one local academic
Atlantic City is dominated by casino tourism. ‘It has no reason to exist other than to be a resort,’ says one local academic / © Michael S Williamson-The Washington Post

This town of about 40,000 has a long history of keeping up appearances. It’s a resort, after all. For 30 years, casinos created a veneer of glitz and glamour along its seaside boardwalk. Though the promenade is quiet this blustery October Saturday, parade organisers motion for a handful of vehicles to fall in line. “Arrivaderci Roma” begins blaring from the float’s speakers, and the white-haired Guardian, wearing brown wingtips and a neon yellow raincoat, starts leading the procession south…

[…] Some have estimated the city will lose up to 10,000 jobs this year, though most casino workers live outside city limits, and a slice of those laid off will be rehired at other casinos. Still, thousands of residents are now unemployed in a town whose collective property assessment has almost halved since 2010. Atlantic City’s resulting fiscal quandary will come just as it grapples with the dual tasks of attracting a new brand of tourists and solving an old set of big-city problems. “Sometimes, you need calamity to get back,” Guardian says. []

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