Officially established as a city in 1854, Atlantic City was poised to become the next resort town with great real estate opportunities. Located in South New Jersey on the Absecon Island, the new island resort town was frequented by the neighboring states via the newly installed railway that led all the way up to the beach. By the 1920s; Atlantic City was a boom town, even with prohibition in full force, Atlantic City quickly became the premier sea side destination.
However; after the Second World War, tourism had declined, crime and nearby impoverished areas plagued the city, other factors like: more Americans could now afford a vehicle and the advent of cheap air travel and the increasing popularity of the relatively nearby Caribbean resorts. With Atlantic City almost depending on the rail system to bring tourist into the city, it quickly withered by the 1960s. Therefore; in 1976, with the city in disarray and in need of dire revenues and redevelopment; the community narrowly passed and legalized gambling that same year. So; In May of 78, the first casino opened in a converted hotel formerly known as the Chalfonte-Haddon Hall Hotel, with many more to sprout at its heals. According to the Atlantic City free public library;
“By 1988, a dozen casinos were open and the number of annual visitors had grown from 700,000 in 1978, to over 33 million. By the year 2000, the city’s tax base had skyrocketed to more than $6.7 billion, up from $316 million in 1976. The positive impact on Atlantic City residents can be seen in revitalized neighborhoods, new housing projects and public service facilities and in economic, social and cultural programs.”
http://www.acfpl.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=67&Itemid=186 http://www.acfpl.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22&Itemid=724 http://www.resortsac.com/history