Atlantic City was once predicted to be the new Las Vegas, as a huge amount of investment was pouring into the area, massively transforming it. Atlantic City may not have landed up as the new Las Vegas, but is still certainly seen as a major gambling hub of the world. The area features a number of tower casino and hotel resorts, and gets millions of visitors on an annual basis.
But, Atlantic City was not always the enormous gambling hub it is today, and in fact had rather humble beginnings. Few realise, after all, that in the 1800s there was a massive push to make Atlantic City a health resort, deigned for tourists to unwind and relax, while rejuvenating their bodies and souls. Let’s take a brief look at how Atlantic City transformed into the mega-hub of gambling it is today.
An Early Start
Atlantic City was always seen to have massive potential as being a resort town, given its coastal location, and scenic landscape. In 1853 the first hotel was established, and almost immediately began to attract holiday makers. More hotels soon followed, and it was not long before the area was seeing as many as 500,000 visitors on a yearly basis. At the time, this was an extraordinary number of holiday makers to be visiting a specific location, and the area kept expanding, with more hotels being erected along the coast.
In 1870 the first boardwalk was constructed along the coast, which was a direct effort to help keep sand out of the lobbies of hotels. That such an effort was made was a clear indication of how focused Atlantic City was on being a world class holiday destination. This boardwalk would become synonymous with Atlantic City, since it grew massively in size over the years, until eventually stretching a distance of seven miles. The boardwalk was largely destroyed in the infamous storm of 1944, but was reconstructed, bigger and better.
Introduction Of Gambling
In the early 1900s Atlantic City went through a radical period of transformation, and many of the beachside hotels suddenly became towering buildings, creating what is today the famous Atlantic City coastal strip. Until the arrival of World War II, Atlantic City was all but considered a paradise.
After World War II, however, as with many areas, Atlantic City sank into a period of decline, and poverty. Once grand structures fell into disuses, and tourists rapidly began to thin out. A new era was required for the area to once again flourish. This came in the form of legalised gambling, which came about in 1976. The decision was a shot in the arm for Atlantic City, and the area immediately began to transform into a casino hub of the world. Abandoned buildings were renovated, and almost overnight multiple casino and resort establishments sprang up, once again drawing in tourists. Atlantic City once again saw a boom period, returning it to former glory in a short space of time.
Modern Atlantic City
Up until the early 2000s Atlantic City boomed, expanded, and the multiple casinos raked in piles of money. It was not, however, a boom period that would be without its troubles. Competition with Las Vegas was stiff, and as the recession hit in the early 2000s, Atlantic City once again began to see a decline in business. Many argued that Atlantic City needed to diversify, and start creating more family friendly attractions, as had been done in Las Vegas.
Over 2010 a number of new, incredibly vast projects took off in the Atlantic City area, including new hotels, new casinos, and new roadways. There was, ultimately, not much in the form of diversification, as had been suggested, but the new attractions did once again attract global attention.
Boardwalk Destruction Relapse
Recently, an interesting story occurred where a rumour was spread that the Atlantic City boardwalk had again been destroyed, as had occurred in 1944. After Superstorm Sandy struck in 2012, Images of a damaged section of the boardwalk were circulated amongst residents. Given the boardwalk is such an iconic part of the area; residents were thrown into a panic, believing that business would be massively effected. Many of the beachside hotels, after all, still largely rely on the boardwalk.
The panic proved to be false, however, and the images were revealed to simply be a section of the boardwalk that had been damaged prior to the storm, and had already been marked for repair. The situation had got so out of control, however, that some residents had even been preparing for what they assumed would be a period of financial disaster for Atlantic City. The situation quickly got resolved, however, and many still remark at how closely Atlantic City is linked to its boardwalk. Let us never forget that the boardwalk had first been first constructed back in 1870, as a way to prevent sand from blowing into hotel lobbies.