Outdoor alcohol consumption worked so well in improving business at Atlantic City’s bars and taverns that the New Jersey legislature wants to expand the service throughout the state.
On June 30, a bill sponsored by Senators Vin Gopal and Linda Greenstein passed the Senate. The Assembly has yet to vote.
Officials cited Atlantic City’s approval of public consumption in its Tourism District, which took effect last summer, as a model for the rest of the state, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
“By designating certain ‘open container’ areas for individuals, local businesses can continue to rebound as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic,” Gopal said in a statement.
Municipalities need to adopt an ordinance for it to take effect in the town.
“Through this legislation, we will enable those businesses one more outlet in which to grow their businesses and begin to recover losses suffered because of Covid-19,” Greenstein said.
In related tourism news, July 4th weekend was a mixed bag weatherwise in South Jersey. The less-than-ideal weather on July 2 and 3 sent visitors inside for shopping and dining, while the sunshine on July 4 and 5 packed the beaches.
Phil Juliano, executive vice president of gaming operations and chief marketing officer at Bally’s Corp., gave the weekend a thumbs up, though he did not yet have the financials, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
“We had a very good Fourth of July, comparable, if not better than 2019,” Juliano said. Further up the Boardwalk, Anthony Catanoso, owner of the Steel Pier amusement park, said numbers easily surpassed 2019.
“We are a hub of activity. We have a really well-rounded component of entertainment on the North Beach,” he said.