Yesterday there was a mysterious event in Trenton featuring Governor Chris Christie and executives from Caesars Entertainment and MGM. Nothing much was said, but there were some hints at some kind of potential collaboration and investment, with details to be announced soon, the Press of Atlantic City reported. This is interesting. The sixth-most-valuable package of land in Atlantic City (according to 2017 assessments it is worth $153.5 million*) is a parcel in the marina district, including land between the Borgata and Harrah’s (owned by MGM and Caesars respectively). Once upon a time, Steve Wynn had plans for it – the Mirage Atlantic City. Maybe this is connected to Christie’s hyped announcement?
Separately, Christie made some allusions to casino regulation changes, covered by Wayne Parry for the AP. Parry notes that Caesars executive Marc Frissora touted the company’s $300 million investment in Atlantic City since 2014 (during which time Caesars was in bankruptcy). Frissora did not mention that Caesars closed one casino (Showboat) and jointly bought and closed another (Atlantic Club). Nor did he mention that much of the company’s $300 million investment was in the form of state credits and loans to renovate its boardwalk frontage and build the Harrah’s conference center, which now eats the lunch of the state-run Atlantic City Convention Center.
*of course this assessment is currently under appeal.
If you do one thing today, watch this beautiful music video that was filmed in and around Atlantic City by Sherry McCracken of Ventnor’s Little Rock Film + Studios. The Black Horse Pike motels have never looked so beautiful.
In the rest of the news from yesterday and this morning, check out this interactive map of where New Jersey’s most generous political donors live (Cape May is a hotbed), Commissioner Richman writes an OpEd that says Atlantic County should (I’m paraphrasing) quit whining about the PILOT agreements, home heating bills are likely to rise as natural gas prices go up, read the governor candidates’ thoughts on affordable housing, and go and pick up a discount-priced kitten in Voorhees. All that and more below the events roundup.
Looking for something to do this weekend? There is a lot going on. Over in the pines you can catch Beardfest through Saturday, while Atlantic City’s food truck festival runs all weekend. There’s also a rally on the boardwalk in AC on Saturday, at midday, organized by State Free AC as well as a city-wide canvass effort for the petition to protect AC’s Municipal Utilities Authority. Then Sunday at 6 pm is the Ventnor beach concert – this week featuring Hawkins Road.
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