Atlantic City Entertainment, Attractions, Hotels, and Casinos
This resort community is located on Absecon Island, just off the coast of New Jersey. This area has been a tourist magnet since 1854, when Philadelphia speculators created it as a rail terminal resort. In 1909, at the peak of the seaside town's popularity, Baedeker wrote "there is something colossal about its vulgarity" — a quality which it sustains today, even while beset by bankruptcy and decay. The real-life model for the board game Monopoly, it has an impressive history of popular culture, boasting the nation's first Boardwalk (1870), the world's first Big Wheel (1892), the first color postcards (1893) and the first Miss America Beauty Pageant (cunningly devised to extend the tourist season in 1921, and still held here yearly).
During Prohibition and the Depression, the town was a center for rum-running, packed with speakeasies and illegal gambling dens. Thereafter, in the face of increasing competition from Florida, it slipped into a steep decline, until desperate city officials decided in 1976 to open up the decrepit resort to legal gambling.
Weather and Climate:
- Average daily temperature — Jan: 35.1° F; July: 75.2° F
- Average annual rainfall — 38.6 inches
- Average annual snowfall — 15.7 inches
Distances to other Metropolitan Areas (in miles):
- Atlanta, GA — 829
- Charleston, SC — 726
- Charlotte, NC — 590
- Memphis, TN — 1058
- Miami, FL — 1252
- New Orleans, LA — 1268
- New York, NY — 127
- Philadelphia, PA — 62
- Raleigh, NC — 452
- Washington, DC — 181
Top Tourism Draws and Seasons:
- Ripley's Believe it or Not! Museum
- Steel Pier family amusement park
- Hard Rock Cafe
- Planet Hollywood
- July/August — Chicken Bone Beach Jazz Concert Series
- Ocean Life Center
- Miss America Pageant
- Gardners Basin
- Senator Frank S. Farley State Marina
- Absecon State Wildlife Management Area
- Mark G. Etness Arena
- Sandcastle Stadium and Atlantic Surf Baseball team
- Dante Hall performing arts center
- Florence Valore Miller Art Center
- Fishing excursions
- Gondola rides
- Sailing Charters
- Casinos: Hilton Casino, Showboat Casino Hotel, Tropicana Casino & Resort, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Bally's, Caesars, Harrah's, Resorts International, Sands, Showboat, Trump Marina, Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal
- Boardwalk Convention Hall and Boardwalk Bullies Hockey team
Major Shopping Areas:
- The Walk
- The Quarter at Tropicana
- Main Street District
- Atlantic Avenue
- Boardwalk District Shops
- Historic Gardeners Basin
- Casinos — Various shops throughout
Major Dining Areas:
- Marina District
Famous Landmarks & Historic Places:
- Absecon Lighthouse
- Historical Museum
- New Jersey Korean War Memorial
Famous Natives and Residents:
- Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's Restaurant Chain
The city has been a rather frequent subject in popular culture. A 1981 movie starring Burt Lancaster, is named for the city. A popular Bruce Springsteen song depicting a young couple's escape, appears on Springsteen's 1982 album "Nebraska."
More recently, several episodes of Donald Trump's television show, "The Apprentice", have been based and filmed in the area.
It is famous for its boardwalk, and is the home of the Miss America pageant, which has been held here since 1921. The streets are also used in the American version of the board game Monopoly.
The original inhabitants of Absecon Island, on which it rests, were the Lenni-Lenape Indians.
The Lenni-Lenapes would travel over the Old Indian Trail from the Mainland to the island to spend the summer months. The trail, which was located approximately where Florida Ave. is today, was five miles long over the marshland.
When the first owner of Absecon Island, Thomas Budd, bought the area's land, his mainland property was then valued at $ 0.40 an acre, while the beach land a mere $ 0.04 an acre. That same piece of beach front property today would be worth millions of dollars per acre.
Population and Demographics:
- Population (year 2000): 40,517
- Males: 19,852 (49.0%), Females: 20,665 (51.0%)
- Black (44.2%)
- Hispanic (24.9%)
- White Non-Hispanic (19.4%)
- Other race (13.8%)
- Two or more races (4.5%)
- Vietnamese (3.1%)
- Chinese (2.3%)
- Asian Indian (2.0%)
- Other Asian (1.7%)
- American Indian (1.2%)
- Filipino (1.2%)
- Ancestries: Italian (4.9%), Irish (4.1%), United States (2.4%), German (2.0%), Sub-Saharan African
- (1.6%), English (1.5%).
- Median resident age: 34.7 years
- Median household income: $26,969 (year 2000)
- Median house value: $87,500 (year 2000)
Economy & Business — Notable Companies
- Most ventures revolve around the hospitality industry: visitor accommodations and resorts, casinos and entertainment, and traveler attractions.
- Another large sector of the economy is fueled by conventions.