Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

A new golden age for A.C.?

I've always been one of those people who'll run in the opposite direction of a crowd. Maybe, it's because my job will often send me right into the middle of a big bunch of people. Maybe I just don't like the noise.

A new golden age for A.C.?

ATLANTIC CITY – I’ve always been one of those people who’ll run in the opposite direction of a crowd. Maybe, it’s because my job will often send me right into the middle of a big bunch of people. Maybe I just don’t like the noise.

So after I checked out the big hoo-hah that was the “soft” opening of the Revel a couple of weeks ago for work purposes -- crowds everywhere, lines to do everything, very noisy indeed -- I headed over to the Golden Nugget. I’m not much of a gambler. But I was hungry. And I like contrasts.

And I wanted to see whether the big, bad $2 billion Revel really was beginning to suck the life out of the other casinos as AC watchers have predicted it will.

Golden Nugget, the former Trump Marina, has been undergoing a stylish $150 million transformation. They’ve put in new showrooms, redone the casino, hotel rooms and suites, and added lounges, bars, a salon and spa, pools, and a new Ronnie Wood Art Gallery (the Rolling Stone guitarist turned artist). And five new restaurants, including a Chart House outpost with a terrific view of the Farley Marina, Gardiner’s Basin, and the Revel.

The casino was busy, it looked like plenty of people were checking into the hotel on a random Monday, and the dining room was pretty full, too. The staff was friendly and efficient and made me feel very welcome. I got a nice table by the windows. And as I enjoyed my chopped salad and a lofty tower of shellfish, I grew optimistic there certainly will be life after Revel for places like the Nugget – as long as they stay in the game.

About this blog

Inquirer staff writer Amy S. Rosenberg has covered Philly police, city neighborhoods, Ed Rendell as mayor, the Jersey shore, Atlantic City, Miss America and the psychology of Eagles fans. She moved to Ventnor on July 3, 1995, which makes her a local, but not really.

Inquirer Staff Writer Jacqueline L. Urgo has spent every summer of her life at the Jersey Shore, and has lived there year-round for nearly 30 years, even fulfilling one of her bucket list dreams by once living in a house by the sea.

Since 1990, she has covered the waterfront for The Inquirer — from the Atlantic to the Delaware Bay shore — and some of the mainland in between. Along the way, she amassed an encyclopedic knowledge of this tear-it-down-and-build-it-back-up region, delving into the history and the hype of a place with a lot of unexpected stories to tell.

Reach The Downashore at arosenberg@phillynews.com.

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