Bally’s Atlantic City (AC) and Ocean Casino Resort view the sandy beaches around their properties as untapped resources. The two casinos have reportedly submitted requests for the redevelopment of beach areas that would ultimately lead to more options for tourists and draw more attention to the properties. Local city representatives are reportedly behind the initiatives, but no timeframe for completion has been provided.
Bally’s and Ocean Hit the Beach in Atlantic City
According to a report by The Press of Atlantic City (TPAC), Bally’s AC and Ocean submitted plans to the AC City Council in June that would see the casinos offer guests new options by the water. The properties hope to erect seasonal beach bars and permanent entertainment facilities on the beach, and have had their plans initially accepted by local officials, who approved the casinos’ requests to renegotiate existing redevelopment agreements. Late last month, the council also approved a separate request submitted by Ocean that allows the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to address redevelopment by the casino in a different location.
According to AC Councilman Kaleem Shabazz, there’s more positive than negative with the redevelopment ideas. He asserted during June’s meeting, “I would definitely encourage this very strongly. Even though there are some negative aspects to the casinos, these entities have put a lot of money into the city; they are employing a lot of people. They want to continue their development, so I think we need to support these two (resolutions).”
Footprints in the Sand
The June approvals would eventually result in Bally’s putting up a beach bar and entertainment venue between Arkansas and Indiana Avenues, according to TPAC. Ocean’s plans would see similar facilities being built between Rhode Island and New Jersey Avenues. The second request submitted by Ocean includes development at Ocean Beach Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue. Neither casino is ready to reveal the scope or design of their new projects, but, now that the cat’s out of the bag and preliminary approvals are in place, more details are certain to be revealed soon.
There is still more authorization needed before any of the projects can get underway. The return of COVID-19 is likely to slow any momentum that the casinos had and one delay has already been introduced. The AC Planning Board was to discuss the redevelopment projects when it met this past Tuesday; however, was forced to put the subject back in the to-do pile. New Jersey officials have to approve beach leases and permits that affect the state’s Coastal Area Facility Review Act. Without those approvals in place, any discussions at the local level would be moot.