Three days ago The Borgata Casino in Atlantic City announced its lineup for a new outdoor concert venue. Being 21 years young and huge into the music scene, I couldn’t control my excitement. Atlantic City used to bring in big name acts all the time but there has been a trend that shows a decline in notable names coming to the city. There was a House of Blues in Showboat but since their recent shutdown Atlantic City was left without that spot for younger kids to go see a show. Many people think of Atlantic City as just a place to gamble but for people who live in the surrounding areas it’s far more than that.
This is a virtual tour or the venue:
Atlantic City isn’t what is used to be. This new venue has the potential to spark that new Atlantic City feeling. People wouldn’t hesitate about heading to the beach for a festival or a concert instead of going to Philadelphia or other places that lack the sand and water. The free Blake Shelton concert this past summer attracted roughly 65,000 people to the city. Granted the show was free but once you get people in the city, they are going to pay for parking, food, drinks, hotels, etc. City and urban planning isn’t just about the built environment. There is a sense of speculation, a network and transportation plan and in Atlantic City’s case, a focus of the economy.
Atlantic City’s built environment and its transportation networks are so ingrained and fixed that they need to be worked around. It is so easy to get to the Borgata from anywhere. Both the Atlantic City Expressway and Route 30 bring you right in to the Brigantine Connector which places you on the property flawlessly. This is a perfect example of how Atlantic City should be approaching it’s economic struggle. There was great successes when Bader Field hosted a Dave Matthews Band festival along with the Orion Festival. Sure it might be a little bit of a struggle to get the permits and set it up, but once it starts happening more often it will become the norm.
Atlantic City has one thing that many places in the Metropolitan area don’t have and that is the ocean. It’s Atlantic City’s most valuable asset and resource and there is great potential for the city to revitalize. Imagine Stockton University having a location on the beach and venues for these college kids to see concerts. Who wouldn’t want to stay in New Jersey for college but still go to a beach town for your education? Tourists will always come but once you get the people in you have to keep them busy. I have a great vision of Borgata’s Festival Park sparking the new trend in Atlantic City nightlife and overall attraction.