For the beach rats and travel junkies of New Jersey, the premature warm weather last month served as a pleasant reminder of what’s to come — long summer days hanging on the Jersey Shore.
Atlantic City, which has sought to expand its reputation as a gambling destination into one that has much more to offer than slot machines, is also revving up for the busy season with renovations and new development that are slotted to be ready by summer.
“Atlantic City is the only city in the Northeast that offers all of the seashore amenities as well as gambling,” said Elaine Shapiro Zamansky, manager of media relations for the Atlantic City Tourism District.
This year, the city anticipates about 25 million visitors, which is on par with recent visitor numbers throughout the last few years.
Tropicana Casino and Resort will be bringing in a new nightlife venue, Kiss Kiss a Go Go, in which Ivan Kane will take patrons on a trip down the rabbit hole to the neon-fueled nights of Bangkok, to Atlantic City.
The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa will also be adding a new nightclub, Premiere Nightclub, which will be an 18,000-square-foot venue designed by Josh Held, one of the top club designers in the United States who also stands behind Marquee NYC, TAO Las Vegas and Voyeur Los Angeles.
The modern yet elaborate nightclub will feature tiered booths, two 35-foot-long bars, a mezzanine area and a 25-foot-diameter chandelier with a programmable light inside the $14 million addition.
Plus, the WAV nightclub is coming to the Playground, which will be a 20,000-square-foot space that includes a main stage, mezzanine level, outdoor terrace, four bars, 8,000 square feet of LED screens and a 200,000-watt sound system. It will be the only nightclub in the United States that sits directly over the Atlantic Ocean.
If visitors are looking for a more laid-back bar atmosphere, they will be able to head to Bally’s Boardwalk Saloon, an indoor and outdoor bar that will anchor the north end of the boardwalk entrance of the Wild Wild West casino that will also house Guy Fieri’s BBQ Joint and the AC Snack Shack.
When it comes to dining, Dock’s Oyster House, one of the city’s oldest businesses that dates to 1897, will double its original capacity with two additional dining areas on the second floor as well as a new kitchen.
“While the casino market has contracted, the attractions, nightlife and entertainment options have expanded, offering more for families and all ages,” said Zamansky.
Monika Bartnik, a Sayreville native, visits Atlantic City about three times a year because she enjoys the convenience of not having to wait outside in the cold for entertainment during the winter, as well as club hours that venture after 2 a.m. and the fact that it is one of the few destinations in New Jersey that allows her to have a fun, affordable night without having to leave her hotel.
“Atlantic City is a great party destination for when I choose to go with a large, diverse group of people,” she said. “There’s something for the gamblers of my group, the ones who like to go to the bars and those that like to dance the night away.”