After a yearlong ban on smoking inside Atlantic City casinos, July 4 marked the end of that particular safety rule. When casinos reopened last July, health officials had warned that the exhaled vapors from people smoking could quickly spread the virus. Of course, plenty of people are pressing for a permanent ban, especially considering that state law bans most indoor smoking already (exempting casinos, of course):
“How is it that you’re not allowed to smoke on our beaches or our boardwalk, but you’re allowed to smoke at my table where I can’t walk away?” asked Nicole Vitola, a table games dealer at the Borgata. “All I want is the same right that every other worker in New Jersey receives.”
… The Casino Association of New Jersey, a trade group, opposes a permanent smoking ban, saying it could cause long-term financial implications.
“Going completely nonsmoking would place Atlantic City casinos at a competitive disadvantage with other nearby casinos that allow smoking,” the group said in a statement.
You may love oyster season at your favorite Atlantic City restaurants already, but now the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City has partnered with the Knife & Fork Inn and Dock’s Oyster House for a special environmental initiative. The establishments are saving the leftover shells from diners and giving them to the Department of Environmental Protection, where the shells will next be dumped into the Mullica River:
That waterway is home to one of the last self-sustaining oyster populations on the Atlantic coast, according to Shawn LaTourette, the state’s environmental commissioner. The clam, oyster and other shells form the basis of new or expanded oyster colonies when free-floating baby oysters, known as spat, attach to the shells and begin to grow on them.
“You have the benefit not only of ecological restoration, but it has kept 65 tons of shells out of landfills,” said Scott Stueber, a fisheries biologist with the DEP. That helps the eateries save on waste disposal costs.
…“We go through a ton of these shells at our restaurants,” said Grace Chow, Hard Rock’s vice president of food and beverages. “The buffet on a slow day will shuck 500 oysters, and on a busy day, 1,200.”
Industry veteran Michael Woodside is now the new VP of entertainment and marketing services at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. His new role includes overseeing the resort’s advertising, digital marketing, public relations, and social media departments. Previously, he had worked at Borgata, so he brings a great level of experience to the position:
Property President Joe Lupo said, “Hard Rock Atlantic City is excited to welcome Michael to our team.” Lupo added that Woodside’s extensive experience in the gaming industry is invaluable to the resort’s commitment to be a leader in land-based gaming entertainment in Atlantic City.
On July 21, the Atlantic City Council is expected to pass a bill that would serve to effectively close the state’s first needle exchange. As the city looks to further develop its tourism district and move away from relying strictly on casino revenues, city council members have proposed an ordinance that would revoke permission for the Oasis Drop-In Center, the current needle exchange, to operate within city limits:
The area around Oasis, which is located a few blocks from the boardwalk and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, was rezoned as a tourist district five years ago
…The tourism district in the city is overseen by the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. According to a master plan from 2012, the authority said, “certain existing uses within the tourism district are not necessarily compatible with the clean and safe resort environment and ‘family-centered tourism related activities’” it envisioned. The authority cites adult entertainment, massage parlors, social services, and “perhaps gold shops,” as some examples of “incompatible uses.”
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