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Atlantic City: Recreation

Atlantic City: Recreation

Sightseeing

Opened in 1999, the $4 million Atlantic City Visitor Welcome Center, located on the expressway just outside the city, provides guests with up-to-date information on hotels, restaurants, attractions, shopping, festivals, events, and regional cultural and historical sites. The Boardwalk Information Center, in the center of town, provides walk-in visitors with regional guides and information on various attractions and amenities.

Atlantic City's premier attraction is its boardwalk, a nearly five-mile-long steel, concrete, and wooden structure stretching along the Atlantic Ocean beach. The structure was described in 1909 by a travel writer for a national magazine as "overwhelming in its crudenessbarbaric, hideous and magnificent." Roughly paralleling Atlantic and Pacific avenues, the boardwalk is 60 feet wide and home to a variety of shops, amusement stands, and eateries. Its surface is a patterned design of bethaburra, a Brazilian hardwood. Along its length, and well worth a close look, is Donald Trump's $1 billion Taj Mahal, adorned with Hindu elephant gods, multicolored onion domes, minarets, and $14 million of chandeliers.

The boardwalk continues its southward stretch into neighboring communities such as Ventnor. Running perpendicular to the Boardwalk are a series of entertainment piers, many of which have been destroyed and rebuilt several times. Central Pier is known for its observation tower. Steeplechase Pier features children's amusements. Steel Pier, first opened in 1898, was a noted entertainment area. In 1990, the pier reopened as a family entertainment facility under the auspices of the Trump Taj Mahal complex. Garden Pier attracts culture lovers to the Arts Center and Historical Museum. Now a mall called Ocean One, the former Million Dollar Pier features shops and restaurants. The Tivoli Pier, part of the Trop World resort, is a 2-acre amusement park reminiscent of Atlantic City's carnival days. Legalized gambling and the glitter of the luxurious casino/hotels lining the boardwalk are other popular tourist attractions.

Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum has attracted the curious since 1996. The Absecon Lighthouse, which was built in 1854, was reopened to the public after a $3 million facelift. The 228-step historic structure is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey and offers a bird's eye view of Atlantic City's dazzling skyline and the back bay area. Lucy the Margate Elephant is a six-story wood and metal structure built in the shape of an elephant. Located in nearby Margate and initially used as a bazaar site in 1881, Lucy is now a national historic site. Wheaton Village portrays life in an 1888 glass-making village; the Towne of Historic Smithville features colonial buildings and specialty shops. At the Marine Mammal Stranding Center and Museum in Brigantine, visitors can discover the wonders of the sea and learn about the care of ailing sea creatures.

Arts and Culture

Performing arts in Atlantic City take the form of top name entertainment offered at the casino/hotels' lounges and "big rooms," many of which seat more than 1,000 patrons. Innumerable singers, musicians, entertainers, dancers, and comedians, most of them Hollywood and Broadway stars, have taken the stage in Atlantic City. Recent improvements to Brighton Park along the boardwalk include a new amphitheater, which offers summertime concerts. Jazz concerts are scheduled at Historic Gardner's Basin.

Located on the boardwalk's Garden Pier is the Atlantic City Arts Center and Historical Museum. The center hosts art exhibits and shows all year long while the museum focuses on the city's 150-year history. The Circle Gallery on Park Place and the Lenox China Showroom are popular tourist stops. The Noyes Museum in Oceanville features a collection of regional duck decoys. Staff of the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum in Atlantic City are noted in the Ripley hierarchy for their ability to find particularly unusual exhibits. The Ocean Life Center at Gardner's Basin has 8 tanks totaling 29,800 gallons of live exhibits, including a 23,000 gallon tank featuring the fish of northern New Jersey and a 750 gallon touch tank. Interestingly, the Ocean Life Center is accessible by car, on foot, and by boat.

Arts and Culture Information: Atlantic County Office of Cultural Affairs, 40 Farragut Avenue, Mays Landing, NJ 08330; telephone (609)625-2776

Festivals and Holidays

Atlantic City's most famous annual event is the Miss America Pageant, held the second week of September. Begun in 1921, the pageant generates an aura of festivity, including the Miss America Ocean Powerboat Race. Other annual events include the Atlantic City Boat Show in January and the Antique Auto Show in February. The city's Easter Parade has been an eagerly awaited event for generations of Atlantic City residents and visitors alike. In late May comes the symbolic Unlocking of the Ocean. The city sponsors Boardwalk Art Shows in June and September. In early July, the annual New Jersey Fresh Seafood Festival, described as a "sea appreciation party," takes place at Historic Gardner's Basin Maritime Park, a turn-of-the-century fishing village. Anglers are attracted to the Atlantic City Tuna Tournament in late July. The Wedding of the Sea in mid-August is celebrated with music, floats, a parade, sidewalk sales, and ceremonies held at Mississippi Avenue and the beach. Atlantic City's Marlin Tournament is held each August as well.

Sports for the Spectator

The Atlantic City Race Course, 14 miles west of the city, presents thoroughbred racing during the summer and simulcasts of racing events the remainder of the year. The Atlantic City Surf, a professional baseball team affiliated with the Atlantic League, plays near Bader Field in the $14.5 million Sandcastle Stadium, a 75,000-square-foot facility. The 5,900-seat stadium offers grandstand and premium deck seating, 20 luxury skyboxes, oversized concession areas, a souvenir shop, team clubhouses, administrative offices and 2,000 parking spaces. Other professional sports events, especially boxing matches, are sponsored by the city's casino/hotels. Annual events include the National Powerboat Races, State Sailing Championships, Shop Rite LPGA (women's golf) tournament (formerly the Atlantic City Classic), and professional polo matches, bowling competitions, and bicycle races.

Sports for the Participant

It is the pristine beaches along Absecon Island that draw thousands of swimmers and water sports enthusiasts every year. Surfers ride the breakers that wash the beaches, and sailors and powerboaters enjoy the ocean and inlet waters in the area. Ocean fishing is a popular sport, both from the shores of the coastal waters and from the decks of boats miles out to sea. Facilities in and around Atlantic City accommodate those wishing to play squash, tennis, racquet-ball, and golf. Bicycling, walking, and jogging along the boardwalk are picturesque as well as good exercise. Many of the casino/hotels offer guests complete fitness and athletic facilities.

Shopping and Dining

Atlantic City's most unusual shopping destination is Shops on Ocean One at Arkansas Avenue and the Boardwalk. Built in the shape of a luxury ocean liner, Ocean One features 150 stores, restaurants, and an amusement park, all spread over three levels and extending over the ocean. The city's major downtown shopping area occupies Atlantic Avenue and the avenues intersecting it. The Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing is the area's largest shopping center, boasting more than 150 stores and restaurants. In nearby Pleasantville, the Shore Mall offers 75 shops and eateries, plus a movie theater complex. For the bargain hunter, every Tuesday and Saturday the Cowtown Rodeo in Woodstown has a flea market. Historic Wheaton Village in Millville is a replica of a Victorian glass-making town, complete with gift and craft shops, plus there are several other uniquely themed, quaint shopping plazas throughout neighboring communities.

Delicatessen fare and fresh seafood are noteworthy Atlantic City offerings. Many of the delis along the Boardwalk feature stacked sandwiches, kosher hot dogs, and garlic dill pickles, the likes of which are seldom seen south of New York City. Fresh catches from the Atlantic include oysters, crabs, clams, and a variety of deep-sea fish. Dining is elegantly formal in many of the casino/hotel restaurants, a number of which specialize in assorted international cuisines. Traditional American fare can be had at colonial-era inns in Historic Smithville. Atlantic City is also the birthplace of salt water taffy and visitors may sample dozens of flavors along the boardwalk and in candy shops. The Historic Renault Winery and Vineyard in Egg Harbor City is renowned along the East Coast for its wines and gourmet food.

Visitor Information: The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority, 2314 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, NJ 08401; telephone (609)348-7100; toll-free (888)222-3683. State of New Jersey, Dept. of Commerce, Energy, and Economic Development, Div. of Travel and Tourism, CN-826, Trenton, NJ 08625-0826; telephone (609)777-0885; toll-free (800)847-4865

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Atlantic City: Economy

Atlantic City: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

The convention and tourism industry rebuilt Atlantic City's economy in the late 1980s and through the 1990s. Now one of the nation's top tourist attractions, the city boasts 13 gambling casino/hotels, which attracted 33 million visitors in 2004. Coupled with its famous beaches and boardwalk, Atlantic City's superb hotel accommodations annually draw nearly 5,000 conventions, trade shows, and meetings. Since 1975, the casinos have funneled $7 billion back into the city's economy in addition to creating some 55,000 jobs. A tax on casino gross revenue provides $300 million annually for state programs for seniors and the disabled. In addition, the Atlantic City Cape Community College features a Casino Career Institute, which has trained more than 46,000 students for employment in the gaming industry.

Although much of Atlantic City's economic development centers around the casinos, the local government has been pursuing its goal to diversify the economy through the development of themed restaurants, retail shopping, night clubs, museums, theaters, minor league baseball and other recreational attractions. Non-casino industries in Atlantic City include services, retail trade, real estate development, distilling, and deep sea fishing. Many of the goods produced are by-products of the convention/tourism trade.

Items and goods produced: saltwater taffy, clothing, bottles and glassware, plastics, boats, paints, hosiery, baby carriages, reed furniture, chinaware, creamery and poultry products, fish and seafood

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Businesses

Local programs

Among the public and private agencies assisting businesses in Atlantic City are the Atlantic City Department of Planning and Development, the Casino Re-Investment Development Authority, the Atlantic County Improvement Authority, Atlantic City Housing Authority and Urban Redevelopment Agency, the Atlantic CityNew Jersey Coordinating Council, and Atlantic County and its agencies. These agencies oversee casino re-investment funds, more than $100 million in city monies, and substantial luxury tax revenues.

State programs

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) offers a wide range of financial, real estate development, and technical services to encourage business development and growth in the state. The majority of its assistance is to small and mid-sized businesses. The EDA issues bonds to provide financing at favorable interest rates for business ventures, and makes low-interest loans and guarantees loans made by private investors and lenders. It also offers a full range of real estate development services to stimulate both private and public development projects. In addition, the EDA administers a business incentive program that provides grants to expanding or relocating businesses that will create new jobs in New Jersey. Loans and grants also are available to municipalities and private property owners to encourage the clean-up and redevelopment of hazardous sites around the state. The New Jersey Urban Development Corporation provides low-interest loans to developers and businesses seeking to construct facilities in urban areas, including small business incubators.

The New Jersey Small Business Development Corporation (NJSBDC) network specializes in business planning, growth strategy, management strategy, and loan packaging, along with providing help in selling goods and services to government agencies, help to entrepreneurs in commercializing new technologies, linking up companies to local manufacturers who serve as mentors, and counseling for companies regarding overseas trade.

Job training programs

The New Jersey Business Employment Incentive Program Loan Program allows companies to receive up to an 80 percent rebate for ten years for the additional state income tax generated by creating new jobs. The state's business Relocation Assistance Grant Program provides relocation grants to businesses that create a minimum of 25 new full time jobs in the state.

Development Projects

The $268 million Atlantic City Convention Center is the cornerstone of a $5.6 billion renaissance that has transformed Atlantic City into a major visitor and meeting destination. Contributing to the popularity of the area is the Boardwalk Hall, originally built in 1929 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This carefully renovated Atlantic City Convention Center has been fully refurbished to blend the ambience of Atlantic City's original heyday with the amenities and accommodations that visitors expect in the twenty-first century. In 2003

Billboard magazine named Boardwalk Hall, renovated in 2001, as the top-grossing midsize arena in the United States.

The $4 million Atlantic City Visitor Welcome Center, located on the Expressway, services tourists as they approach town by car. Located next to Sandcastle Stadium in Chelsea Heights is the ice skating and hockey rink, Flyers Skate Zone.

In late 2004, Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa announced a $347 million expansion that would include a 45-story hotel tower, complementing previously revealed plans for a $200 million investment in expanded casino, restaurant, and shopping space. This will expand Borgata's guest rooms from 2,000 to 2,500 and add 100 suites and 200 luxury condominiums to the complex.

Economic Development Information: Casino Re-Investment Development Authority, 1014 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City, NJ 08401; telephone (609)347-0500. Atlantic City Department of Planning and Development, City Hall, Suite 604, 1301 Bacharach Blvd., Atlantic City, NJ 08401; telephone (609)347-5404. New Jersey Commerce, Economic Growth & Tourism Commission, 20 W. State St., PO Box 839, Trenton, NY 08625; telephone (609)777-0885

Commercial Shipping

Freight shipped via air arrives at Philadelphia International Airport, Atlantic City International Airport in Pomona, and at Bader Field (Atlantic City Municipal Airport) near downtown. The closest major container shipping ports are in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. Atlantic City is adjacent to the Garden State Parkway and is serviced by the Atlantic City Expressway.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Between 1975, the dawn of the era of legalized gambling in Atlantic City, and 2001, the combined wages of hotel workers in Atlantic City rose from $15 million to $1.1 billion.

The service sector continues to be Atlantic City's largest employer.

Plans are well underway to make the city a world-class resort through airport modernization and expansion and revitalization of the casino industry, and to pursue economic diversity through non-casino hotels, a theme park, beach and boardwalk enhancements, a new convention center, and a revitalized central business district. State-mandated casino reinvestments are earmarked for housing construction and economic development.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Atlantic City labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 149,500

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 6,600

manufacturing: 4,500

trade, transportation, and utilities: 21,900

information: 1,100

financial activities: 4,400

professional and business services: 9,800

educational and health services: 17,200

leisure and hospitality: 57,400

other services: 4,100

government: 22,600

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $15.67 (2004 statewide average)

Unemployment rate: 6.6% (February 2005)

Largest employers Number of employees
Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort (no employee figures available)
Bally's Atlantic City
Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa
Caesars
Harrah's Atlantic City
Resorts Atlantic City
Sands Casino Hotel
Showboat Casino Hotel
Tropicana Casino & Resort
Trump Marina Casino Resort
Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino
Trump's Taj Mahal Casino Resort

Cost of Living

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Atlantic City area.

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

State income tax rate: 1.4% for total income of $1 to $20,000; 1.75% for total income of $20,001 to $35,000; 3.5% for total income of $35,001 to $40,000; 5.525% for total income of $40,001 to $75,000; 6.37% for total income of $75,001 to $500,000; 8.97% for total income of $500,001 and up (2004).

State sales tax rate: 6%

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: None (3% alcoholic beverage tax and 9% lodging and related services tax)

Property tax rate (effective): $2.96 per $100 of assessed value (2004)

Economic Information: Atlantic City Department of Planning & Development, City Hall, Atlantic City, NJ 08401; telephone (609)347-5404

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Atlantic City: History

Atlantic City: History

Railroad Alters Quiet Fishing Settlement

The first to enjoy the beaches and fishing off Absecon Island were members of the Lenni-Lenape tribe. They named their sandy summer home Absecon, meaning "place of swans." These Native Americans were followed in 1783 by New Jersey settlers who established a permanent site for a fishing village at the north end of the island. They called their town Absecon. For a half century, the inhabitants lived uneventful lives on the 10-mile long sandbar. Then, in the early 1850s, Dr. Jonathan Pitney realized the island's tremendous potential as a health spa and resort. In 1852, Pitney and a group of visionary business investors obtained a railroad charter that brought the Camden & Atlantic Railroad to the island. Railroad engineer Richard Osborne planned a city on the site of the village of Absecon and in 1854 Atlantic City was incorporated.

The resort/spa succeeded beyond anyone's imagining. Wealthy businessmen and their families from Philadelphia and up and down the East Coast flocked to the new resort. To capitalize on its beaches, the townspeople laid down the first boardwalk in 1870, laying wooden planks upon the beach so that it could be enjoyed even during the hottest part of the day. With the construction of the boardwalk and its accompanying eateries and amusement stands, Atlantic City became a major tourist attraction. Vacationers and invalids coexisted happily in the Victorian-era town, living in ornate wooden boarding houses and enjoying the boardwalk in the rolling chairs invented in the city in 1884. The first of a half-dozen amusement piers was built in 1882, contributing to the city's carnival-like atmosphere. Saltwater taffy was created in 1883 when an entrepreneur's candy stand on the beach was flooded during high tide. The enterprising merchant immediately dubbed his saturated delicacies "saltwater" taffy. By 1887, heavy tourist traffic decreed the building of a second rail line into the city. In 1895 a visitor returning from Europe introduced to local merchants German-style picture postcards which instantly became popular on Atlantic City souvenir stands.

By 1915 traffic again warranted expanded services, this time in the form of the famous jitney line, which provided tourists with transportation in private automobiles. The first Miss America Pageant was held in Atlantic City in 1921; it was discontinued in 1928 and revived in 1935. The Atlantic City Auditorium/Convention Hall on the boardwalk opened in 1929. It was in 1929 that Charles Darrow introduced Monopoly, the board game that made Atlantic City's streets well known throughout America. During World War II, the U.S. Army used Atlantic City as a training site. A 1944 hurricane washed away nearly half the boardwalk, but it was quickly rebuilt.

Legalized Gambling Revitalizes City

Following the war, Atlantic City's tourist trade tapered off as economical airfare to the exotic Caribbean and Florida became available. Without the proceeds of the summer trade that sustained the city year-long, Atlantic City sank into disuse and widespread urban decay. In 1974, New Jersey residents voted not to approve a gambling law that was on the ballot. In 1976, the resolution appeared again but was restricted to introducing gambling into Atlantic City in the hope of reviving the resort's economy. The second resolution was approved and Atlantic City became the first city in the eastern half of the U.S. to offer legal gambling. The first casino/hotel, Resorts International, opened in May 1978, and was quickly followed by 10 others. By 1988, the casino industry employed 40,000 people and was a major draw for the city's 30 million annual visitors. Property in Atlantic City was valued at $6 billion by 1988.

Since the institution of the gambling industry, Atlantic City has been plagued by persistent rumors about organized and street crime. Many experts agree, however, that Atlantic City's casinos are free of organized crime. Street crime is being addressed directly by increased police presence, and indirectly through an energetic redevelopment plan for the city. As a result of the city's efforts, the crime rate dropped nearly 50 percent between 1988 and 2003.

The city's casino revenue reinvestment program, along with city, state, and federal dollars, is being used to revitalize decaying neighborhoods off the boardwalk and to attract additional retail and office business. With the creation of the Special Improvement District, most of the city's downtown commercial district now displays decorative fencing, pavements and lights, new trees, banners, and other aesthetic enhancements. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has invested $225 million in new residential construction, building 1,897 new housing units within Atlantic City's boundaries. For fiscal year 2005, the city has $2,736,159 budgeted for redevelopment and improvements.

Atlantic City offers conventioneers, vacationers, casino- and beach-goers a convenient place to network and relax, and is within a day's driving distance of one-third of the nation's population.

Historical Information: Historian, Atlantic City Free Public Library, One North Tennessee Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401; telephone (609)345-2269. Atlantic City Arts Center and Historical Museum, New Jersey Avenue & Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401; telephone (609)347-5837

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Atlantic City: Education and Research

Atlantic City: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Among its many special programs, the Atlantic City public schools offer a gifted and talented program, a preschool program, English as a Second Language, a K & 1 Write to Read program, and a special truancy program. The school system has instituted a computerized managed instruction program that provides most students access to the schools' computer labs. Special software developed to coincide with texts in use and standardized tests complements the hardware. The high school, Atlantic City High, opened in the mid-1990s following an investment of some $80 million. Atlantic City's schools saw an increase in test scores in 2004, most notably in elementary language proficiency. Just over 60 percent of students were deemed at least proficient in language in 2004, up from 22 percent in 2003. High schoolers saw a combined increase of 4.5 percent in writing and mathematics in 2004. Among the challenges that face educators in the Atlantic City school system is the high rate of poverty; in 2005, 81.5 percent of enrolled students were identified as living below poverty level.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Atlantic City Public School system as of the 20042005 school year.

Total enrollment: 7,159

Number of facilities elementary schools: 8

junior high/middle schools: 2

senior high schools: 1

Student/teacher ratio: 25:1

Teacher salaries average: $53,897 (2004)

Funding per pupil: $11,123 (2004)

Public Schools Information: Atlantic City Public Schools, 1300 Atlantic Avenue, 5th Floor, Atlantic City, NJ 08401; telephone (609)343-7200

Colleges and Universities

The nearest institution of higher learning is Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Pomona, an easy commute to the west. The school offers bachelor's degrees in business, arts, and sciences. Special programs include interdisciplinary studies in gerontology, Judaism, Africana studies, Latin American/Caribbean studies, teacher education, and women's studies. Together with its academic curricula, Stockton offers students cooperative education, internships, and study abroad. Atlantic Community College, based in Mays Landing, holds "casino schools" in Atlantic City, teaching tourists the skills needed to play the games of chance in the city's casinos.

Libraries and Research Centers

The public library system consists of the Atlantic City Free Public Library, the main facility, and the Richmond Branch Library. In addition to its 104,000 volumes, the system makes available magazines, videos, records, and cassettes. The library's History of Atlantic City Collection includes books, periodicals, pamphlets, postcards, maps, Miss America yearbooks, and period souvenirs. Information about New Jersey history and genealogy is also catalogued.

Within Atlantic City are several specialized libraries, including the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's Technical Information Research Facility at the Atlantic City Airport; and the Health Science Library of the Atlantic City Division of the Atlantic City Medical Center. The William J. Hughes Technical Center Library is a leading aviation research and testing facility designated as an emergency space shuttle landing site. At the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, mammals that have been rescued and deemed beyond saving are studied for what they can reveal about mammalian illness.

Public Library Information: Atlantic City Free Public Library, One North Tennessee Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401; telephone (609)345-2269; fax (609)345-5570

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Atlantic City: Transportation

Atlantic City: Transportation

Approaching the City

Atlantic City International Airport in Pomona is nine miles west of Atlantic City. A three-phase multimillion-dollar expansion and modernization project has doubled and modernized terminal space and plans call for further expansion. Atlantic City International Airport is serviced by Spirit Airlines and Delta Connection. Bader Field, the Atlantic City Municipal Airport near downtown Atlantic City, accommodates commuter and charter flights and private planes. The city intends the eventual closing of Bader Field to make it available for private development. Major airports handling Atlantic City traffic are Philadelphia International Airport, 60 miles to the west, and Newark International Airport, 140 miles to the north. Limousine and bus service is available to Atlantic City from both airports.

Numerous commercial and charter buses travel into Atlantic City; the public bus terminal is at Arctic and Arkansas avenues. New Jersey Transit train service is available from cities in New Jersey and from Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York City. Trains arrive at the Rail Terminal, immediately adjacent to the Convention Center Complex.

The major highway into Atlantic City is the Atlantic City Expressway. U.S. 30 reaches the city via Absecon Boulevard while U.S. 40/322 parallels Albany Avenue; both are surface routes and tend to be congested. The Garden State Parkway runs north-south outside the city and is a major access route.

Traveling in the City

Atlantic City follows a rigid grid pattern. Streets running parallel to the Atlantic Ocean are known by ocean or sea names; streets running perpendicular bear states' names. The city has placed Monopoly Board style street signs along the Boardwalk, together with 1920s style light fixtures and art deco facade treatments to pavilions. The boardwalk runs along the ocean, curving westward to follow Absecon Channel.

Atlantic City's famous jitneys still offer travel in small private cars in Atlantic City. Boardwalk trams, taxis, buses, and rental cars are available. Parking spaces are at a premium, both in garages and on the streets. The convention center has 1,400 parking spaces available to visitors. Casino/hotel guests pay to have their vehicles sheltered.

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Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey, founded in 1854 on the Jersey Shore, soon became the nation's premier beach resort. The city's elegant hotels and simple rooming houses serviced luxury travelers as well as middle-class vacationers and day-trippers from nearby cities. Diverse tourists crowded the four-mile-long boardwalk and ocean piers, which offered such attractions as dance bands, a diving horse, and, beginning in 1921, the Miss America Pageant. Increasingly, however, wealthy travelers favored beach houses in the Hamptons or farther afield, and low-income tourists preferred newer motels and flashier board-walks elsewhere along the Jersey Shore.

Because of the decline in tourism, the city suffered economically in the mid-twentieth century. This trend reversed after 1976, when New Jersey voters approved a referendum to allow casino gambling in Atlantic City to restore the city's prosperity and yield revenue for educational and social programs. The first casino opened in 1978. Soon afterward, Atlantic City became the eastern seaboard's gambling mecca and witnessed sharp economic growth. The city remained divided, however, between the glitz of the beachfront casinos and the poverty and high unemployment elsewhere in the city. Moreover, its future as a gambling center became uncertain as other states legalized casino and riverboat gambling or permitted Native Americans to operate casinos. Still, New Jersey committed to redeveloping Atlantic City by funding airport renovations, a new convention center, and other projects.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Funnell, Charles E. By the Beautiful Sea: The Rise and High Times of That Great American Resort, Atlantic City. New York: Knopf, 1975.

Paulsson, Martin. The Social Anxieties of Progressive Reform: Atlantic City, 1854–1920. American Social Experience Series. New York: New York University Press, 1994.

Sternlieb, George, and James W. Hughes. The Atlantic City Gamble. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983.

RobertFishman/s. b.

See alsoGambling ; Miss America Pageant ; Tourism .

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Atlantic City: Population Profile

Atlantic City: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 276,000

1990: 319,416

2000: 354,878

Percent change, 19902000: 10.0%

U.S. rank in 1990: 7th (CMSA)

U.S. rank in 2000: 6th (CMSA)

City Residents

1980: 40,199

1990: 37,986

2000: 40,517

2003 estimate: 40,385

Percent change, 19902000: 6.7%

U.S. rank in 1980: 547th

U.S. rank in 1990: 700th (State rank: 17th)

U.S. rank in 2000: 741st

Density: 3,574 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 10,809

Black or African American: 17,892

American Indian and Alaska Native: 193

Asian: 4,213

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 24

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 10,107

Other: 5,575

Percent of residents born in state: 45.8%

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 3,041

Population 5 to 9 years old: 3,250

Population 10 to 14 years old: 2,690

Population 15 to 19 years old: 2,398

Population 20 to 24 years old: 2,650

Population 25 to 34 years old: 6,415

Population 35 to 44 years old: 6,151

Population 45 to 54 years old: 4,676

Population 55 to 59 years old: 1,836

Population 60 to 64 years old: 1,676

Population 65 to 74 years old: 2,971

Population 75 to 84 years old: 2,019

Population 85 years and over: 744

Median age: years 34.7 (2000)

Births (2002)

Total number: 792

Deaths (2002)

Total number: 570 (of which 13 were infants under 1 year of age)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $15,402

Median household income: $26,969

Total households: 15,886

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 3,209

$10,000 to $14,999: 1,543

$15,000 to $24,999: 2,639

$25,000 to $34,999: 2,347

$35,000 to $49,999: 2,430

$50,000 to $74,999: 1,878

$75,000 to $99,999: 1,003

$100,000 to $149,999: 488

$150,000 to $199,999: 133

$200,000 or more: 216

Percent of families below poverty level: 19.1% (42.3% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 5,346

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Atlantic City: Communications

Atlantic City: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

Atlantic City's daily newspaper, The Press of Atlantic City, appears each morning. Atlantic City Magazine, with its listings of events, is published monthly.

Television and Radio

One television station originates in Atlantic City, NBC-10. Atlantic City also receives Philadelphia stations and is serviced by a cable television franchise. The four AM and FM radio stations in the city broadcast a variety of music, talk, and religious shows.

Media Information: The Press of Atlantic City, 1000 W. Washington Ave, Pleasantville, NJ 08232; telephone (609)272-7000

Atlantic City Online

Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Bureau Authority. Available www.atlanticcitynj.com

Atlantic City Free Public Library. Available library.atlantic.city.lib.nj.us/ac

Atlantic City Public Schools. Available alpha1.acboe.org

City of Atlantic City Home Page. Available www.cityofatlanticcity.org

New Jersey Commerce & Economic Growth Commission. Available www.state.nj/commerce/dcedhome.htm

New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Available www.njeda.com

Selected Bibliography

Carnesworthe, pseud., Atlantic City. Its Early and Modern History (Philadelphia, W.C. Harris, 1868)

Hall, John F., The Daily Union History of Atlantic City and County, New Jersey. Containing Sketches of the Past and Present of Atlantic City and County . . . (Atlantic City, N.J., The Daily Union Printing Co., 1900)

Levi, Vicki Gold, Atlantic City, 125 Years of Ocean Madness: Starring Miss America, Mr. Peanut, Lucy the Elephant, the High Diving Horse, and Four Generations of Americans Cutting Loose (New York: C.N. Potter: Distributed by Crown Publishers, 1979)

Wilson, Harold F., The Jersey Shore: A Social and Economic History of the Counties of Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth, and Ocean (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1953, 3 vols.)

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Atlantic City

Atlantic City

Atlantic City: Introduction
Atlantic City: Geography and Climate
Atlantic City: History
Atlantic City: Population Profile
Atlantic City: Municipal Government
Atlantic City: Economy
Atlantic City: Education and Research
Atlantic City: Health Care
Atlantic City: Recreation
Atlantic City: Convention Facilities
Atlantic City: Transportation
Atlantic City: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1783 (incorporated, 1854)

Head Official: Mayor Lorenzo Langford (since 2001)

City Population

1980: 40,199

1990: 37,986

2000: 40,517

2003 estimate: 40,385

Percent change, 19902000: 6.7%

U.S. rank in 1980: 547th

U.S. rank in 1990: 700th (State rank: 17th)

U.S. rank in 2000: 741st

Metropolitan Area Population (PMSA)

1990: 319,416

2000: 354,878

Percent change, 19902000: 10.0%

U.S. rank in 1990: 7th (CMSA)

U.S. rank in 2000: 6th (CMSA)

Area: 11.3 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 6 to 8 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 53° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 40.3 inches of rain; 15.7 inches of snow

Major Economic Sectors: Tourism and conventions, services, trade, real estate development

Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (February 2005)

Per Capita Income: $15,402 (1999)

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 5,346

Major Colleges and Universities: None

Daily Newspaper: The Press of Atlantic City

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Atlantic City: Convention Facilities

Atlantic City: Convention Facilities

Atlantic City is home to one of the largest municipal convention complexes in the nation. Located on the boardwalk between Georgia and Mississippi avenues, the Atlantic City Convention Center occupies 7 acres. The center features 500,000 square feet of exhibition space, 45 meeting and function rooms accommodating 50 to 3,000 conventioneers, and a Grand Ballroom accommodating up to 3,600. The East Hall main auditorium offers a 137-foot high column-free ceiling and seats nearly 22,000. When not used for conventions and trade shows, the center hosts numerous sporting events, including boxing, tennis, and football matches. The city's 13 casino hotels also offer meeting facilities; for example, the Trump Taj Mahal features more than 175,000 square feet of meeting space. In addition to guest rooms, casino/hotels offer fine restaurants and lounges that seat up to 1,000 people and feature top-name entertainment. Space is also available at the new Atlantic City Rail Terminal.

Convention Information: Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Bureau, Attn: Convention Services Director, 2314 Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401; telephone (609)348-7100; fax (609)345-3685

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Atlantic City

Atlantic City, city (1990 pop. 37,986), Atlantic co., SE N.J., an Atlantic resort and convention center; settled c.1790, inc. 1854. Situated on Absecon Island, a barrier island 10 mi (16.1 km) long, Atlantic City was a fishing village until the construction in 1854 of a railroad that made it a fashionable resort for Philadelphians and New Yorkers. The first boardwalk was built in 1870. Atlantic City's chief industry is tourism, with more than 30 million visitors annually. The casino industry, which was legalized in 1976 and began in 1978, rivals that in Las Vegas, Nevada. The boardwalk, lined with casinos, hotels, shops, and amusements, is 6 mi (9.7 km) long. Urban blight, however, has continued to contrast sharply with oceanfront prosperity. Atlantic City has a large convention center. The Democratic national convention took place in the city in 1964, and the Miss America Pageant was held there annually from 1921 to 2005. Absecon Lighthouse, in operation 1854–1932, attracts tourists. The first Ferris wheel was built in Atlantic City in 1869. The board game Monopoly, which makes use of area street names, was invented here in 1930. In 2012 the city suffered significant flooding from Hurricane Sandy.

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Atlantic City: Geography and Climate

Atlantic City: Geography and Climate

Atlantic City, in southeast New Jersey, lies on narrow, sandy Absecon Island several miles off the mainland. The island, separated from the mainland by a series of low-lying meadows and a narrow strait, is 60 miles southeast of Philadelphia and 100 miles south of New York City.

Atlantic City's climate, while generally continental, is influenced by the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean. Summers start later and last longer than on the mainland and winters are milder. Precipitation is moderate and distributed throughout the year. The exception is the heavy rainfall attendant on the occasional hurricane which blows in off the coast.

Area: 11.3 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 6 to 8 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 30.9° F; July, 74.7° F; annual average, 53.0° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 40.3 inches of rain; 15.7 inches of snow

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Atlantic City: Health Care

Atlantic City: Health Care

Founded in 1898, the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center on Pacific Avenue is licensed for 540 beds. The center is a teaching hospital affiliated with Hanneman University in Philadelphia and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Specialties include cardiology, emergency care, and the Joint and Spine Institute, and the hospital has the region's only Level II trauma care center and neonatal intensive care center. Through the Ruth Newman Shapiro Regional Cancer Center the hospital offers rapid detection of malignant conditions and care including radiation and chemotherapy.

Health Care Information: Atlantic City Medical Center, 1925 Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401; telephone (609)344-4000

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Atlantic City: Introduction

Atlantic City: Introduction

A Victorian-era resort and the inspiration for the board game Monopoly, Atlantic City is now one of the nation's top tourist destinations. The city's attractions are legendary: a 5-mile-long boardwalk with entertainment piers stretching out over the Atlantic Ocean, 12 gambling casinos, luxury hotels and restaurants, luscious saltwater taffy and fudge, and sandy beaches. Much of Atlantic City's economy supports and thrives on its convention trade, which annually brings nearly 5,000 shows to the city's famous convention complex and casino/hotels.

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Atlantic City: Municipal Government

Atlantic City: Municipal Government

Atlantic City has a mayor-council form of government. The mayor and nine council members are elected to four-year terms; three council members are elected at large and six are elected by ward (district).

Head Official: Mayor Lorenzo Langford (D) (since 2001; current term expires November 2005)

Total Number of City Employees: Not reported

City Information: Atlantic City Hall, 1301 Bacharach Boulevard, Atlantic City, NJ 08401; telephone (609)347-5300

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Atlantic City

Atlantic City Resort city in se New Jersey, built on a 16km (10mi) sandbar in the Atlantic Ocean and settled as a fishing village in 1790. Famous for its 6km (4mi) boardwalk (1896) and its annual Miss America pageant (started in 1921), it is a centre for political and business conventions. In 1976 gambling was legalized and, since the first casinos were opened in 1978, Atlantic City has become a major tourist centre and stage for sporting events (especially boxing). Pop. (2000) 40,517.

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