A temporary measure allowing for open alcohol containers in public in Atlantic City would become permanent under legislation passed by the New Jersey State Senate.

The bill, S-1591, would allow for the consumption of alcohol from open containers in designated areas of the city’s Tourism District. According to Insider NJ, under the bill, an open container area would include portions of the beach, boardwalk, and other areas within the Atlantic City Tourism District, as defined by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA).

AC mayor Marty Small issued an executive order in June allowing for open consumption that would have remained in effect until November or until the coronavirus restrictions on bars were lifted, which ever came first. This bill, if signed by the governor would make that permanent. In addition to the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk, under the executive order, open containers are allowed in nonresidential areas of Gardner’s Basin and the Orange Loop, which is comprised of New York Avenue, Tennessee Avenue and St. James Place, but under the permanent bill, The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) will determine what areas within the city’s Tourism District will be designated open container areas.

Senator James Beach, the bill’s co-sponsor, told Insider NJ, “Especially during the warmer months, and even into the fall, this would make Atlantic City a much more attractive destination, setting it apart from other shore towns along the east coast.”

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate; a companion bill in the Assembly passed unanimously in June, so the bill just needs Governor Murphy’s signature.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

Travel back in time to a colorized Atlantic City circa 1919