The 12 casinos that call Atlantic City home suffered surprisingly little physical damage from Hurricane Sandy, the late-October “superstorm” that impacted coastal regions from the Carolinas to Massachusetts, and was particularly destructive to oceanfront areas in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
to the casino properties was nothing major; you had minor things and debris,” Tony
Rodio, CEO of the Tropicana Resort Hotel and president of the Casino
Association of New Jersey, told the
Philadelphia Inquirer. “Atlantic City, all things
considered, fared fairly well when put in context of the communities that were
really hit that are north and south of us.”
“We had no real damage at all; I don't know how
we didn't, but we didn't,” Don Marrandino, eastern division president of
Caesars Entertainment, which owns four Atlantic City casinos, told theAssociated Press.
most Atlantic City casinos reopened roughly five days after the storm, when New
Jersey Governor Chris Christie lifted a state of emergency and evacuation order
that had been in place from October 28 to November 2.
speed with which our partners were able to prepare to reopen their doors is a
testament to the resilience of our state, and our nation in the face of a
disaster of this scale,” Liza Cartmell, president of the Atlantic City Alliance,
said in a prepared statement. “As we recover, our hearts go out to all those
who have suffered the storm’s destructive effects. Atlantic City will continue
to be an important economic partner as we move forward, anchoring and creating
new jobs while also maintaining its special place in the New Jersey landscape.”
damaging than the actual inclement weather to the Atlantic City casino
marketplace is the ongoing loss of business as the region slowly recovers from
the storm. Monetary figures released by The New Jersey Division of Gaming
Enforcement showed the city’s casinos generated a combined $209.4 million in
revenue for October 2012, a 20 percent decline compared to the $261.4 million
produced during the same time period last year.
actually thought it would be worse when you consider the magnitude of the
closure,” Rodio said. “We'll have to watch November and December to see how
long it takes for us to get back to normal.”
the reason for the drastic slowdown in business is the mistaken believe that
the Boardwalk that fronts the casino was totally destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. In
fact, only a small previously closed section of the Boardwalk was washed away
by the strong tidal surge generated by the storm, according to local reports.
Still, new research data from a national poll conducted by New Jersey-based
Russell Research shows that 41 percent of the American public believes the
Atlantic City Boardwalk is destroyed.
combat this misperception, The Atlantic City Alliance started a ad campaign to
correct the record continues with a full-page print advertisement in theNew York Timesfeaturing the Boardwalk with
supplemental digital and email advertising reaching one million people. This is
the first national ad for Atlantic City since the new destination campaign
launched back in April.
problematic for the New Jersey casinos is the regional impact of Hurricane
Sandy, and how soon residents in hard hit locales are willing to once again
visit Atlantic City and spend money on gaming.
we have to be concerned about what the impact is going to be the next 30 to 60
days, what it will take for the to recover from the storm," Steve Norton,
a gaming industry analyst who heads the consulting firm Norton Gaming LLC, told
“[Sandy] will definitely have an impact beyond the days the casinos were
Hurricane Sandy's economic toll still felt by Atlantic City casinos
November 30, 2012