Atlantic City Economic Update: Let the Trains Run on Time

From the desk of our Chief Operating Officer, Kenneth J. Calemmo, Jr.

The former REVEL has now received a new life as the Ocean Resort and plans are being made to have it open by this summer.  This is blockbuster stuff!!  Welcome, Bruce Deifik and his team to Atlantic City.  Together with the opening of Hard Rock this summer, and there is a tremendous economic engine about to hit the north end of the Atlantic City.  These two properties will have a need for 5,000 to 6,000 new employees.  And, while many of these individuals fill positions as wait/bar staff, dealers or housekeeping, many more fill roles in finance, marketing, technology, promotion, legal/risk management, etc.   This will have a almost immediate impact on the velocity of cash moving around the Atlantic City marketplace.  We are about to move the proverbial needle.

Now where do we find 5,000 plus employees.  Many still remain in the market and are in need of jobs and will return to one of these properties.  Others will move back into the market.  This should jump start housing prices. The available housing stock in and around Atlantic City is still priced well below other markets and there are deal that can be made.  Land prices in Atlantic City are still affordable and call out for construction of workforce housing. A perfectly  situated project located between Ocean Resort and Hard Rock is the Boraie project.  Opening soon will be 250 market rate apartments that will serve the families of workers at these properties.  The timing of this project could not have been better.

Many more employees will need to come into the market from outside Atlantic County.  Back in the early 2000’s, every county in the State of New Jersey had a citizen that was employed in Atlantic City.  I cannot imagine that is the case any longer.  However, it goes to show how far some will travel for good jobs.  Which brings me to getting the trains to run on time – I mean that tongue-in-cheek of course.   However, we have a great resource in train service into Atlantic City and, most importantly,  need to utilize that resource to help spur greater economic development.  The need to move so many employees could easily enhance ridership along the AC to Philly line.  What need be done is to work with the large employers in the city to insure that the timing of the trains actually meets the work schedules of the employers and develop a system to get them that “last mile” to their place of work.  I see Jitneys in this future.

My last post I indicated I felt good about the vision of AC in 2018 and I remain bullish.  There are some good people doing good things.

My best  and keep moving forward.