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Will A Younger Crowd Save Atlantic City? [POLL]

Michael Loccisano Collection: Getty Images Entertainment
Michael Loccisano Collection: Getty Images Entertainment

Here’s a question: were I in my 20’s, single, and looking for a place to party that wasn’t too far off – would I chose AC?

Well that seems to be what tourism officials are gambling on – and gambling doesn’t seem to the draw it once was.

The new thrust to get Atlantic City back on its feet will be to place bets on making it a destination for a “younger, hipper” crowd.

This is all in light of the numbers which reflect diminishing returns on casino revenues, and a leveling off of food and entertainment revenue.

According to this from nj.com:

The ACA spent $20 million dollars on its 2013 “Do AC” campaign and will spend another $20 million this year, trying to sell tourists — especially a younger crowd — on the idea that there’s more to Atlantic City than gambling.

Like what?

The campaign will bring well-known DJs to the city’s clubs, and put together foodie events, like the Boardwalk Wine Promenade.

Given the audience that it’s trying to appeal to, it’s not surprising that the tweaked “Do AC” campaign features more online and social medial events, such as the one that allows users on Facebook and Twitter select the music for the city’s annual 4th of July fireworks show, and a redesigned Web site optimized for mobile devices that lists events more prominently on the homepage.

Last year, the ACA spent 86 percent of its $20 million budget on branding and only 8 percent on events.
This year, it will use most of the same commercials as last year — which still tested well with audiences, Cartmell said. But it will spend nearly 50 percent of its budget on securing and promoting events and only 30 percent on branding, which includes some new commercials to run alongside last year’s ads.

The ACA is also spending money on getting mentions on air from celebrities like Jimmy Kimmel and on TV shows like Good Morning America.

The alliance is also building on the success of last year’s events, such as the Miss America pageant and the Sand Sculpting World Cup, by bringing them back and adding new ones, including the Challenge Atlantic City Triathlon and a free beach concert featuring “The Voice” star Blake Shelton.

And seeing is how casinos have taken a hit from competing states – I think it was fairly obvious that AC’s future was all about making it a prime destination for a younger crowd – and possibly even a gay destination.

Singles, gays, younger partiers all have available dollars to spend. The trick is getting them there and offering them something to spend it on.

And probably even more to the point, giving them reason to stay – such as making overnight room rates more affordable.

Do you believe Atlantic City could be successful as an entertainment destination for a younger hipper crowd?

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