Posts Tagged ‘casino gambling’

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In The Pink in Atlantic City

June 6, 2008

I read a column from an local Atlantic County entertainment paper by Pinky Kravitz, a local personality who is still very active at over 80 years old and is probably the area’s biggest booster there ever was.  He is the Larry Kudlow of Atlantic City in that respect. I have known him from many years of working in Atlantic City and he is a true gentleman.

In his article he quotes facts and figures that he found in a 1925 realtor pamphlet.  I had to share them with you to put in perspective the comparison of Las Vegas and Atlantic City.  Here we go:

“In that year, the permanent population of Atlantic City was approximately 65,000 people. The average population in the city at that time, including seasonal visitors, was about 100,000 people. It was estimated that the annual number of visitors to Atlantic City was 10 million.

There were about 1,000 hotels in Atlantic City in 1925, there were 13 churches of all denominations in the city………The city had six ocean piers. There were 21 movie theaters. There were 400 sailing and fishing yachts and power launches at the various docks in the city. There were two double-track steam railroads, there were two double-track steam railroads to New York.

There were six newspapers. There were three life-saving stations. There were three hospitals in Atlantic City. Within the city‘s limits, there were three golf courses. There were 100 doctors and surgeons who lived in Atlantic City and there were 12 bank and trust companies.”

 

And now….

“Today’s permanent population is down to 45,000. Today’s Atlantic City hosts 34 million visitors (mostly day trippers). There are 14 major hotels and few guesthouses and many less churches.

There are four piers left that extend out over the water now: The Pier at Caesars, Central Pier, Steel Pier and the Garden Pier. The city’s movie theaters dropped from 21 to 1.  There is only one set of rail tracks for trains to Philadelphia; currently there is no train service directly to New York, There is no daily newspaper, plant or office based in Atlantic City; there is one daily that covers the city and the region.

There is a miniature golf course on the Boardwalk, but no more golf courses in the city. The number of doctors and surgeons in the city has dramatically decreased. The number of banks and trust companies has too.

The 1925 realtor pamphlet glowingly stated: “Today we find a gorgeous city … visited by 10 million people yearly, a city [that] personifies the Spirit of America at play. Originally just one of America’s numerous watering places, its sheer superiority makes it supreme as a summer playground, while of late years it has become recognized more and more as the one great winter resort of the North.”

 and now this last paragraph

 “Atlantic City is a city in every sense of the word. It is one of the most interesting ones in America. There are miles of shops to supply every human want, with the wares of Paris and London, displayed side-by-side with the creations of America’s own artisans……. All other world-renowned resorts, piled into one cannot approach it in splendor — and none of them can rival it in interest or comfort. No treatment of Atlantic City’s institutions, however brief, is complete until its wonderful “Beauty Pageants” are brought into the picture. These pageants have become a national institution, attracting worldwide attention……

An airport, a pioneer of the world, and flying field in the south edge of the city, provide an aerial mail station and a good landing field for aircraft. Golf has an all season home here on three excellent and easily extensible courses. These links have acquired such prestige that Atlantic City may, with due modesty, claim to be one of the most important golfing centers of America.”

The irony of it is, that decribes Las Vegas today more than Atlantic City in 1925.  That promotional narrative from 1925 could easily be lifted, Las Vegas’ name inserted, and would be found in any of today’s travel guides.  The pity is that Atlantic City after 30 years and well over a trillion dollars of investment has yet to achieve, at the very least, what they once had.

The ever ebullient and positive cheerleader Pinky Kravitz, God bless his eternal optimistic soul, ends his column with this:

“With that kind of a background, you can understand why those of us who reside here love this wonderful city and its environs.”

To show such pride with the numbers and facts running against you, and the fastidious devotion is something I just can’t criticize; that we should have people here that are so loyal through so many years……