Atlantic City’s newest tourism push touts entertainment

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Threatened with extinction but with no one having yet told it to stop, the organization that promotes Atlantic City to other parts of the country has a new campaign touting the seaside resort’s entertainment offerings.

The Atlantic City Alliance, the group that created the “Do AC” tourism slogan, has been targeted for elimination by state lawmakers eager to use its $30 million annual budget for other things.

But no one has yet pulled the plug. And so, on April 1, the group will launch a promotional campaign on social media and other venues dubbing Atlantic City the “Entertainment Capital of the Jersey Shore.”

“We understand the environment, but as of today, our mission, under the law, is to market AC to build visitation, which supports jobs,” said the group’s executive director, Jeff Guaracino. “With our board’s support, ACA is moving ahead with promoting Do AC. Everyone benefits when more visitors come here for fun, and it is critically important as Memorial Day and summer approaches. AC is competing against other destinations for the visitor’s summer travel wallet.”

Acts scheduled to play Atlantic City this year include Madonna; The Who and Joan Jett; Bob Dylan; Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga; and Jerry Seinfeld. So far, there are more than 1,000 DJ sets, 84 headliner concerts, three beach dance events, food and wine and sports festivals scheduled in the coming months.

The campaign includes email marketing to a database of 660,000 people; social media promotion to more than 500,000 followers, and billboards in and around Atlantic City.

One of many proposals to help Atlantic City recover from its recent struggles — four of its 12 casinos closed last year, and the city’s finances are challenging — involves using the Alliance’s budget to either help pay down municipal debt, or to fund an economic development corporation to attract new business and residents here.

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Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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