Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland), who will participate in the legislative gaming summit opening this week, said adhering to a one-year deadline for the full transformation of Atlantic City into a clean, safe and tourism-friendly destination is crucial to its revival.
“The only way we will succeed in gaining the confidence of tourists is by showing that we mean business – not business as usual,” said Senator Van Drew. “To that end, we must make it a priority to adhere to a one-year deadline for the completion of Atlantic City’s transformation into a cleaner, safer, more visitor-friendly destination.”
The first meeting of the gaming summit will take place Friday, Aug. 6, at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Senator Van Drew said upon completion of the summit – which will consist of several meetings – legislation must be crafted to immediately begin the process of overhauling the gaming city.
“The public for too long has heard that Atlantic City is making a comeback,” said Senator Van Drew. “At the completion of the gaming summit, we must craft legislation that truly makes a difference. This isn’t about slapping a fresh coat of paint on the city. This is about performing a complete overhaul that will restore our position as the gaming capital of the East Coast.”
The Senator said his work during the summit will include resolving a plan for the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority, which is currently under the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. The so-called Hanson report recommends divesting the NJSEA of all responsibilities related to venue operations, but offers no direction for the Wildwoods Authority, which leads tourism efforts in the Borough of Wildwood Crest, the City of Wildwood, and the City of North Wildwood. The authority also operates the $70 million Wildwoods Convention Center.
“While we work to revitalize Atlantic City, we must make sure that New Jersey’s other shore resorts continue to thrive,” said Senator Van Drew. “The Greater Wildwoods Tourism Authority plays a huge part in attracting tourism to the southern shore region. I’ve made it a priority to ensure that we develop a clear plan for its future that recognizes the important role it plays in supporting the local economy.”