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What’s Atlantic City doing right?

All of the Atlantic City talk recently has involved impending casino closures, abysmal gaming revenues and thousands of workers fighting to keep their jobs, but the resort town has actually been making progress in some areas, such as attracting more visitors.

Non-gaming revenues have jumped by tens of millions of dollars in the last two years, fueled by a local effort to transform Atlantic City into a “total experience” destination.

Atlantic City boardwalk
Spencer Platt, Getty Images

According to Dr. Israel Posner, head of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton College, Atlantic City has been successfully bringing in a demographic that hasn’t had a solid representation in AC for years — folks who want to “get away” and be entertained.

“No one is going to drive an hour-and-a-half, two hours, if all they want to do is play craps. You can do that closer to home,” Posner said. “That’s not the primary purpose of this newer demographic that’s attracted by these shows and entertainment that’s been going on all summer.”

The city recently hosted two free concerts on the beach that attracted an estimated 120,000 fans total. A crowd of thousands packed the city as well last week for the annual airshow over the ocean.

Posner estimated Atlantic City will see 25 million visits throughout 2014, and the city’s shops, restaurants and clubs will prosper.

It was announced Tuesday that 10 big-name acts will perform shows at the city’s Boardwalk Hall next year.

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