In a clear exhibition of pent-up Covid-19 pandemic demand, Boogie Nights returned to the Tropicana July 15 and drew a large turnout for a Thursday night.
“It’s kind of a surreal feeling,” said David Pena, head of the Boogie Nights leadership team. “You know we’ve been closed down for so long and to come back strong, it’s amazing.”
The club shut its doors in March 2020 and remained shut after the Tropicana reopened a year ago. Governor Phil Murphy lifted the ban on dance clubs, bars, and restaurants at the end of May, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am that Boogie Nights is back,” said Jackie Grace, senior vice president and general manager of Tropicana Atlantic City. “We had a lot of people asking us when it was going to reopen, and as soon as Murphy gave the OK to open nightclubs again, we had plans in the works.”
The club specializes in hits between the 1970s and 1990s.
Mayor Marty Small Sr. held a ribbon cutting at the entrance of the club and declared July 16 Boogie Nights Day in Atlantic City.
“It brings in such diverse demographics, folks from all walks that go in there and enjoy it,” Grace said. “Between the music and the different characters, the performers, it is just so fun, and it attracts people throughout the generations.”
Maia Scheffler, Mary-Kate Flynn, and Sami Lopez, all of Northfield, New Jersey, were out celebrating a friend’s birthday.
“It feels weird to be out and about without a mask, but it’s great,” Lopez said. “I really think everything opening back up has just given the city a breath of fresh air.”
Jose Vasquez, of Staten Island, New York, surprised his friend George Barbosa with a trip to Boogie Nights to celebrate Barbosa’s retirement from the New York City Police Department.
“This is my treat to him, and we’re having a great time,” Vasquez said. “Especially after the last year I think people are just relieved to get out and have a good time.”
Boogie Nights at the Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, opened a week prior to the New Jersey opening and was equally successful.