New Jersey mulls rebranding Atlantic City as family destination

ATLANTIC CITY America’s number two gaming destination should be rebranded as a family-friendly vacation resort, according to a poll of New Jersey residents.

Atlantic City should be brought back to life by refocusing on its sandy beaches and historic boardwalk rather than increasing state control of its casinos, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll of 1,190 state residents.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, believes Atlantic City’s popularity could be improved with boardwalk amusement rides and similar entertainment fare targeted at children. But Christie also advocates the creation of a state authority to run Atlantic City’s gaming facilities, a plan that poll respondents reject by a 46% to 33% margin.

“They want the place to be revived as a beach and boardwalk mecca,” says Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Bring back romantic-enchantic Atlantic City, New Jerseyans say.”

One of Atlantic City’s chief rivals, Las Vegas, infamously tried its own family-friendly makeover in the 1990s; while not a complete failure, that effort has been all but completely abandoned for about the past decade.