Atlantic City Casino Hotels and Resorts

The Glory Days

In its heyday as a beach resort in the late 1800’s Atlantic City saw unparalleled growth, and it was the beginning of a hotel construction boom that would continue right up until the end of the Second World War.

These were the glory days, and the small exclusive inns and boarding houses were soon demolished to make way for the new trend which took the City by storm – large, imposing hotels, which sometimes took up an entire city block, like the massive United States Hotel. Not only were these hotels impressive, they also had the most up to date amenities and to some extent could be considered quite luxurious for their time.

For the first time, in Atlantic City, reinforced concrete was used as the primary building material and the very first themed hotel made its appearance in Josiah White’s Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel. Not to be outdone, Daniel White commissioned a sixteen story colossus with sea-facing rooms – this became the famed Traymore Hotel which in time would become one of the city’s best known landmarks.

The Chalfonte-Haddon Hall Hotel had the honour of being the largest hotel in Atlantic City in the 1920’s with well over 1000 rooms. Times would change, however, and with the advent of flying the American public sought other beach resorts, like the Bahamas and Miami Beach, and it wasn’t long before the hotels were forced to close their doors, some even being demolished.

A City Revitalised

This was a time of poverty and desperation and Atlantic City was an incongruous mix of slums and derelict hotels, and in an effort to revitalise the ailing city, a decision was taken to legalise casino gambling in the State of New Jersey. The magnificent Chalfonte-Haddon Hall Hotel re-opened as Resorts International, the very first legal casino in the Eastern USA and gambling commenced in 1978.

It wasn’t long before other casino hotels opened all along the Boardwalk and today there are nearly a dozen casinos operating within a short distance of each other. The time of the casinos had dawned, but unlike Las Vegas it did not immediately sort out the problem of poverty – in fact many people believe that the gambling actually exacerbated the problem.

Future Plans

In its constant search for upliftment and poverty alleviation, Atlantic City is still growing, and in February 2008 it was announced that over the next four years $20 billion worth of casino, hotel and retail related construction would take place – only Las Vegas, which has earmarked $35 billion for casino related construction, rivals that of Atlantic City. It is anticipated that the growth of the industry will bring in between 25 000 and 30 000 new casino workers over the next fours years – quite a shot in the arm for the ailing economy of Atlantic City.