Atlantic City has done something that at one time seemed to be impossible. The crowds are back and tourism has accelerated. Hundreds of Thousands of people each weekend go to Atlantic City to visit, gamble, eat, shop and relax. There are unbelievable options and some of the finest restaurants in the country. Great Shows with big names abound. As Atlantic City regains her title of the top area destination point it is breaking all the records.
Not more than a few years ago the areas adjacent the Casinos were over run with street gangs, crime, graffiti, filth, drugs and prostitution. As a matter of fact you had to drive through much of it, just to get there. Today it is a much different story indeed. But how did they do it? Tourists are back on the boardwalk, the small businesses are making money and big name entertainers are back in force, as the tourists with their dollars flow into the New Atlantic City in droves.
Thanks to a combination of business and government, non-profit groups and volunteers working with a “Can-Do” attitude working in a seamless and motivated team atmosphere they have finally done it. There is probably no greater example in the United States as such a revitalization recovery. The City is beautiful, well manicured with landscaping, tourists walking around enjoying themselves feeling safe and cared about. The trash is gone and they clean up any graffiti within hours. There is no more litter, empty fields where low-income type housing had been torn down, now instead host parks.
It appears as the landscaping and care has gone into the common areas, nearby parks, sidewalks and shopping areas a new image has appeared and it has “Atlantic City” all over it; the landscaping team is run by Jon Bitzer. Jon is in charge of up keeping the landscaping and image of the grounds, which have brought back the pedestrians and shoppers and couples come for a romantic weekend or weekday visit. “We have a small team here, but we get it done” says Jon Bitzer. Jon has broken his crews into teams; one crew is strictly in charge of mowing; each special team has a schedule of routine maintenance, which is assigned. Other teams are extending the reach of the redevelopment and block-by-block the city is getting cleaned up. The Mom and Pop Shops and Small Business are looking forward to the ever increasing sales, the Major Chains are also taking notice and investing capital and with each new business it means new jobs for the area. What a success story indeed.
By keeping the surrounding area completely free from debris, trash and graffiti the tourists and couples are coming back and every month the number of visitors is growing. Thanks to the teamwork and leadership of Jon Bitzer the city has never looked better. If you are planning a trip on the East Coast, there is no better destination point than the New Atlantic City. The signs say Atlantic City is for lovers and indeed with the renewed ambiance, attitude and attributes, it is true. Atlantic City should be used as an example for the revitalizing of America and her historic Downtown Cities. It is surprising what can be done when a team committed to making it happen believes in the cause. Atlantic City, thanks for the hospitality, we will definitely be back soon.