Casino Executive Panel discuss post Hurricane Sandy Atlantic Cit -

Casino Executive Panel discuss post Hurricane Sandy Atlantic City

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A panel of Atlantic City casino executives came together Wednesday night, to take part in the greater Atlantic City Chamber annual membership meeting.

At the meeting, the executives discussed the state of Atlantic City, both gaming and other attractions, and what they face post Hurricane Sandy.

"We can't continue from a gaming perspective to give more and get less, so ultimately it's on all of us to do our part to make sure Atlantic City evolves," expressed Revel Atlantic City CFA & Chief Investment Officer Michael Garrity.

"Evolve" seemed to be a common theme amongst a panel of Atlantic City casino executives Wednesday night as they gathered in Galloway Township to discuss the state of the city's gaming industry and how casinos need to focus on other attractions instead of just gaming in order to be more successful.

"The challenge for us here now is how do we redefine Atlantic City and how do we redevelop the product of Atlantic City, so that we are defined as a destination gaming market as opposed to a property," said Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa President & COO Tom Ballance.

"I agree that we still need to continue to evolve to reinvent ourselves as a destination and leverage all the things that Atlantic City has to offer that all our regional competitors don't," said Tropicana Entertainment Inc. President & CEO Tony Rodio.

The transformation of Atlantic City has been a slow moving process, but one that has been working according to Tropicana President and CEO Tony Rodio, who stated that with the exception of Revel the 11 existing properties have recently seen operating income improvements over the last year.

But that might change as a result of super storm sandy.

"The frustrating thing along come Sandy and even though we took some tiny steps forward mother-nature decided to push us a couple of steps back," Rodio said.

One obstacle casinos are facing is changing the perception of post Hurricane Sandy-Atlantic City to attract more visitors.

Once that goal is accomplished, casinos say they'll be able to help the city economically.

"The thing about Sandy, it's important to realize that as the economy declines, as our property declines, our team members suffer and for Sandy that was the biggest impact," said Golden Nugget Atlantic City Executive VP & GM Tom Pohlman.

"When the business stabilizes employment will stabilize," said Ballance. "Nobody ever wants to have fewer employees."

And as the gaming industry in Atlantic City continues to face an uphill battle; casino executives say they have faith in the gaming town.

"We are committed to Atlantic City, we are happy with Atlantic City we feel Atlantic City has a strong future," expressed Resorts Casino Hotel CFO Tim Ebling.


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