While Atlantic City hasn’t always had all the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, especially in recent years, the city is not giving up without a fight. In an attempt to return the seaside town to some of its former glory, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority will be selling $253.3 million worth of bonds today which will translate into over $100 million in upgrades for Boardwalk Hall and the Atlantic City Convention Center. The renovations will include maintenance, aesthetic upgrades, repairs and the possible improvement of entertainment facilities including lighting, electrical and sound equipment. Over the next five years the CRDA hopes to turn the convention center into an attraction that will appeal to a wide-spread audience and will hopefully play host to trade shows, entertainment, luxury stores and gourmet restaurants for tourists.
“We’re going to be looking at everything. The question is, what will we focus on in the first tier?” John Palmieri, the CRDA’s executive director, told Press of Atlantic City on Tuesday. After the sales of the bonds, the board will be spending several months in planning, prioritizing upgrades and developing a construction schedule. Boardwalk Hall, which has undergone numerous renovations since its opening in 1929, is one of the biggest priorities on that list, and is being looked at as a new venue for concerts, boxing and entertainment. While the city has been known primarily for its gaming, this renovation could mark the beginning of a more family friendly tourist destination.