Plenty of visitors were visible along the boardwalk come Memorial Day. After a rainy Saturday, people got to listen to live music, play mini-golf, shop, and visit the beach. The crowds can be attributed to both the rising seasonal temperatures and the lifting of COVID restrictions:
Beginning Friday, masks were no longer required indoors for fully vaccinated people and social distancing rules came to an end in New Jersey for retail businesses, food and beverage establishments and casinos.
“After all this time, it feels amazing to be out here,” said Bob Relovsky, 24, of the Marlton section of Evesham Township in Burlington County.
In Atlantic City, the beach and Boardwalk were packed with people dining, drinking, playing arcade games and sunbathing.
Music could be heard up and down the boards while tram cars transported visitors from one attraction to the next.
Entertainment options are coming roaring back to the area’s casinos. Big-name acts like Guns N’ Roses, Kiss, Pitbull, Michael Buble, and more, with many coming to the Hard Rock:
“Without question, we believe that entertainment is ready to come back,” said Joe Lupo, Hard Rock’s president. “The artists and their management have been hungry for the past couple months as we waited for capacity restrictions to lift and vaccinations to increase. We’re looking to bring fans in here and make a statement.”
State lawmakers in Trenton are trying to finally scuttle casinos’ exclusion from the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act, which prohibits smoking in workplaces and indoor public spaces (with exemptions). While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that ventilation like that found in casinos doesn’t effectively protect people from secondhand smoke, the Casino Association of New Jersey argues that casinos need to keep smoking as an option:
Atlantic City casinos cater to a diverse and dynamic cross-section of guests, including both smokers and nonsmokers. Banning smoking permanently would have long-term financial implications for the industry and the region,” a CANJ release opined.
“Going completely nonsmoking would place Atlantic City casinos at a competitive disadvantage with other nearby casinos that allow smoking. A smoking ban would have a significant adverse effect on Atlantic City, resulting in a decline in customers which would cause job loss, and ultimately a decline in tax revenue,” the association continued.
American Bar & Grille is the new restaurant coming to Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa, replacing the old Wolfgang Puck space. Executive chef Aram Mardigian will lead the restaurant, which will feature an American-style menu with a focus on grilled entrees:
“Over the last 25 years, American grilling has seen an evolution in its classic style with preparation and worldly flavor profiles influenced by Japan, Italy, Germany and a melting pot of other cultures,” Mardigian said in a news release. “We seek to incorporate these intricate flavors into our menu, always inspired to play with unique combinations that create memorable dishes.”
Menu highlights include a big eye tuna crudo, house-made sausage, classic dishes like roasted chicken breast and barbecue baby back pork ribs, and a domestic lamb chop dish done “three ways.” Various soups, salads and pizzas also will be offered.
Visitors to Atlantic City casinos will see three new dining options. Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino just opened Jerry Longo’s Meatballs & Martinis, while Resorts Casino Hotel introduced Dougherty’s Steakhouse & Raw Bar. Lastly, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City opened The Baywalk, an outdoor bar with dining and live music:
Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City officials said Baywalk was inspired by the success of outdoor, bayside dining at the resort last summer. They are calling it an ultimate summer destination, one with live music, selections from the new Rum Point Crab House’s raw bar and, of course, signature cocktails and drinks from a custom-designed container bar.
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