Tag Archives: atlantic city

Garden State Summer Music Scene

Summer is almost here, and the sound of live music will soon fill our ears! This year, New Jersey will be graced with multiple outdoor music festivals to attend.

Hot 97’s Summer Jam  kicked off the New Jersey summer music scene last night. Some of the biggest names in hip hop, like Cardi B, Meek Mill, and Migos took the stage with amazing  performances. 

Looking for the next hot ticket? Here are some picks of what’s coming to New Jersey!

A familiar face, Warped Tour, will be making a weekend pit stop on the Atlantic City beach for their 25th Anniversary on June 29 and 30. Last year, former attendees had to say goodbye to their beloved tour, who would usually take over PNC Arts Center, when creator Kevin Lyman decided to pull the plug after 24 years.

Fortunately, Lyman decided to bring back the festival for three exclusive dates, one of them to be hosted on the Jersey Shore.

Atlantic City’s unique roster includes a bunch of emo and ska favorites, that you will appreciate if you were a teen in the early 2000’s! Popular acts include Blink 182, Taking Back Sunday, Simple Plan, The Used and 60-plus other artists. The two-day packaged tickets have since sold out, yet individual day passes are still available!

To close out the season, the sold-out Sea Hear Now festival will be making their sophomore appearance upon the Asbury Park beach, on September 21 and 22. Dave Matthews Band and the Lumineers are set to headline the show, with support from the B52’s, Joan Jett and New Jersey’s own Bad Religion.

Between sets, attendees can watch professional surfers hit the waves or admire the pop-up art galleries. They can also enjoy delicious local eats from MOGO, Tony’s Italian Sausage and a dozen more options!

Are none of those your jam? Other Garden state festivals include the Jersey City Jazz festival and the Stone Pony’s own Stoked for Summer concert series.

high rollers

Atlantic City’s History of High Rollers

The glamorous Atlantic City coastline.

Image by Bob Jagendoff / CC BY 2.0

There’s one thing New Jersey knows, and it’s how to have fun. Far from living in the shadow of its Big Apple neighbor, with its big-name Broadway shows, the state has led the way in entertainment for years. Such has been in no small part due to one of the most permissive legislatures in the land who have been at the forefront of gaming on the seafront of Atlantic City.

From Revolution to Education

New Jersey lotteries have made a significant contribution to the local economy for many years, funding everything from American Revolution troops to Ivy League colleges such as Princeton. The state was the first to vote for a state lottery and the first to allow players to choose their own numbers, with the launch of Pick 3 in 1975. Perhaps more importantly, it was only the second state, after Nevada, to permit casinos, paving the way for the bright lights and big dreams of Atlantic City.

A Bright Start

Revitalized by this crucial vote in 1976, Atlantic City quickly blossomed from a fading seaside town into a major resort. The first-ever casino was Resorts Casino, which grew from the once magnificent but now crumbling Chalfonte-Haddon Hall hotel. Such set the tone for the revitalization of the aging resort, with several other casinos breathing new life into tired hotels, including the Tropicana, which gave new purpose to the old Ambassador Hotel.

Within just a few years, Atlantic City grew from being yesterday’s news to the hottest holiday destination in America. No less than 16 casinos sprang up in the city by the sea, attracting investment from far and wide, such as a young Donald Trump, who plowed a reported $1 billion into the glamorous Trump Taj Mahal.

Many of these original casinos are still with us, including the pioneering Resorts Casino as well as Bally’s, the Borgata, Caesars, Harrah’s, the Golden Nugget and the previously mentioned Tropicana.

Turbulent Fortunes

Unfortunately, just like a trip to the casino, Atlantic City has seen many ups and downs in its short history. Following its spectacular launch, the city enjoyed a great run of luck, attracting visitors from across the country and around the world. A playground for the rich and famous, the city not only hosted top-quality casinos but also hosted international sporting events like world title fights, featuring the legendary Mike Tyson.

Sadly, those days were not to last. As more and more states legalized casinos, rising to 20 of the 50, Atlantic City’s unique selling point faded fast. By 2010, the number of casinos had dropped to only 12, and by 2018, it was down to seven. Fortunately, the city appears to have taken a turn for the better in the last 12 months, with two new casinos, the Hard Rock Atlantic City (formerly the Trump Taj Mahal) and the Ocean Resort Casino (formerly the Revel) both opening their doors last summer, and the total number of establishments back to a healthy 10.


Image by Wcam/ CC BY-SA 4.0

Online Innovation

Of course, New Jersey has not only led the country with brick-and-mortar casinos, but it has been a pioneer online, too. There a dozen online casinos based in New Jersey, with the state being only the third to allow online gaming in 2013. In real New Jersey style, all 12 operators launched simultaneously in a spectacular event on November 21, 2013 and have since generated over $100 million in tax revenue for the state every year.

Far from challenging their physical counterparts, smart thinking on behalf of the legislators has helped to protect the physical casinos. License terms insist that every online casino must have servers located in a corresponding brick-and-mortar establishment.

The Future of Fun

For many players, it is not a case of choosing between online and physical casinos. In many ways, the two complement each other, as demonstrated by the launch of two new multimillion-dollar ventures in the city. New players often use online casinos to learn the games before their visit to a glitzy gambling hall while more established players will use them to hone their skills ahead of a high-rolling night.

Whichever style of gaming you prefer, from the keyboard to the boardwalk, from the virtual to the physical, New Jersey has always been and always will be the place to play.

hip guide to Atlantic City

The Hip Guide to Atlantic City

The largest city on the Shore, Atlantic City may have the nickname “Vegas on the East Coast,” but if you think it’s all busloads of pensioners and penny slots, think again! The glamorized, Prohibition-era Atlantic City as depicted in the smash HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” may be a work of fiction, but there’s still plenty of luxury to find here, and yes, you can take a ride along the boardwalk in a traditional rolling chair.

Accommodations

Uber-chic hotels may not immediately spring to mind when you think of Atlantic City, but rest assured, you can sleep in style here.

All the major casinos have hotels, but we think the Rendezvous Tower at the Resort Casino Hotel deserves a special mention. Standard rooms at this 27-story hotel start at over 500 square feet, giving you all the space that you could need during your stay.

Situated in the center of the Atlantic City boardwalk, the historical and statuesque Claridge Hotel is one of the last “architectural masterpieces” originating from the boardwalk days of the 1920s and 1930s. This old dame is still full of the refined glamor that attracted icons like Princess Grace of Monaco, Al Capone and Marilyn Monroe to its doors. Tastefully remodeled throughout, it caters to the needs of 21st-century travelers, but you can still get a glimpse of the old days in its two original ballrooms.

Casinos

If you visit Atlantic City, you must spend time in at least one casino, though a major concern that brick-and-mortar casinos have faced is increased competition from online operators, who provide enticing bonus codes and free spins offers that draw in new customers. However, the casinos here in Atlantic City are still going strong, and you can find everything from classic gaming parlors to mega-resorts with extravagant spas.

One of the longest-running casinos on the boardwalk, Caesars Atlantic City, which, much like its Vegas counterpart, is a super-sized and super-kitsch powerhouse. Decked out in that unique mixture of ancient Greek and Roman- “inspired” decor, Caesars is one of the best places to go for some good old-fashioned casino gaming. If you can drag yourself away from the casino floor, there’s The Playground mall to discover. Built on a 900-foot pier over the ocean, this is a shopper’s paradise with luxury stores like Gucci, Burberry and Tiffany & Co. If you get hungry, you can treat yourself to some great British grub at Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill.

The Water Club at Borgata, on the other hand, is pure luxury, from its 800 rooms and suites to its decadent, two-story spa. This $400 million development spans 43 stories in which you’ll find the previously mentioned Immersion Spa, three urban loft residencies, heated pools and a selection of designer boutiques. As you would expect, the casino at the Borgata attracts the high-rolling crowd, which makes for a thrilling night at the tables.

Entertainment and Nightlife

Once the sun goes down, and after you’ve witnessed the spectacular sunset from the beach, there’s still plenty to see and do in Atlantic City.

Still going strong despite being almost 90-years-old, the Boardwalk Hall arena is always a venue with a diverse calendar of all-around sporting entertainment. Now the official home of New Jersey’s premier AFL team, the Atlantic City Blackjacks, a highlight of the 2019 calendar includes the SHOWTIME Women’s’ Middleweight Championship battle between Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer in April.

There are also some great comedy nights taking place regularly in different venues throughout the city. The Atlantic City Comedy Club is the premier weekly night venue, but it’s also worth checking out Howie Mandel’s Comedy Club at the Hard Rock Hotel Casino and the Borgata Comedy Club.

Even though Atlantic City may not produce the year-round extravaganzas that Vegas does, you can still check out a world-class gig or performance here. Mariah Carey, Lionel Richie and the comedian Sinbad are some of the big names coming to Atlantic City this year, and the city’s classical ballet company, the Atlantic City Ballet, will dance a season that includes performances of “Romeo & Juliet” and “Sleeping Beauty.”

Whatever show you decide to take in, finish off the night at one of the many nightclubs in the city. Our favorites include Boogie Nights at the Tropicana, Anthem Lounge and Red Room.