Metro Weekly

Atlantic City makes a $20 million gamble on tourism

AtlanticCity_Skyline_nightlights_lr.jpgAtlantic City is betting $20 million dollars on a rebranding campaign in an effort to attract more visitors.

With surround states now offering gaming, the economic slump and its reputation for high crime, Atlantic City has seen a decline in tourism in recent years. Officials hope this new effort – which is the largest destination tourism marketing campaign in Atlantic City history – will help reverse the trend.  

“Transforming Atlantic City’s gaming and tourism economy and developing it into a world-class destination and resort is a vital and ongoing commitment of this Administration,” said Governor Chris Christie. “With this newly integrated tourism campaign, there is finally a concerted effort to properly fund Atlantic City marketing initiatives to attract visitors to the region, a need that has gone unmet for far too long. Through our continued collaboration and partnership with all stakeholders, we’re beginning to see the Atlantic City of the future take hold.”

Targeting the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions including Washington, D,C., the “DO AC” campaign consist of television and radio commercials, outdoor and commuter station billboards, online and print advertisements, and social media.  

A new landing page,, has also been established for the city’s tourism website that has been updated to feature enhanced trip planning tools to assist visitors in choosing among the wide variety of lodging, dining, shopping and entertainment options. Itinerary planning tools will enable a visitor to customize selections with personal preferences such as budgets and travel partners.

While the new campaign is not yet specifically targeting LGBT travelers, Atlantic City has been actively positioning itself as a gay-friendly destination.  Many of the city’s hotels such as Caesars, Showboat, Tropicana, Harrah’s, Sheraton and Bally’s are members of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association and/or TAG Approved. In addition, Resorts Casino Hotel opened Atlantic City’s first gay nightclub in 2011.


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Troy Petenbrink is Metro Weekly's contributing writer for food and travel. He can be reached at

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