Atlantic City Approves Boardwalk Projects, Lighting

The New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has approved a number of projects to spruce up the city and the city’s Boardwalk, including new lighting to offset the effects of four closed casinos—which have gone dark—along the wooden way.

Atlantic City’s Boardwalk has been darker since four casinos closed along the boards last year.

The New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, however, is fighting the dark by approving $12.5 million in bonds to install new LED light polls along the ocean-side of the Boardwalk—among several other revitalization projects for the resort.

The authority also approved a new outdoor concert venue—called Festival Park—and a new nightclub at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and approved $1.3 million to fund two major beach concerts in the city this summer. The authority will also finance live entertainment at the Boardwalk’s Kennedy Plaza.

No performers have been announced yet for the beach concerts.

The Boardwalk projects reflect a trend to take more advantage of the famous thoroughfare to attract visitors. The lighting project is designed to make the Boardwalk more aesthetically appealing and safer through the installation of 164 LED light poles between Albany and Rhode Island avenues.

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardia—who sits on the CRDA Board—said the high-tech light poles will include interactive, theatrical and decorative features to add some “pizzazz” to the Boardwalk for tourists.

The lighting project also includes plans for 72 new security cameras on the Boardwalk and at street ends that will linked directly to a police surveillance center through a fiber-optic network.

The project should take about five months to completely install.

In a separate project, private contractor Impactivate Networks Inc. is spending $20.8 million for 110 digital display screens on the Boardwalk that will feature advertising, movie trailers and promotional programming. The company pays the city 10 percent of the advertising revenue.

Meanwhile, the authority approved $1.3 million for summer entertainment in the hopes of duplicating the success of two major Boardwalk concerts held last year. The city put on concerts by Blake Shelton and Lady Antebellum which each attracting crowds of about 60,000.

The authority also approved Borgata’s plans for a new nightclub inside the casino and an outdoor entertainment venue for music festivals. Borgata is using its reinvestment contributions to CRDA to finance both projects for $15 million.

In another matter, the authority’s chairman since 2008 James Kehoe has announced he is resigning to concentrate on his new job as a consultant the New York-based Tonio Burgos and Associates Inc.

A successor has not been named.