It's no secret that Atlantic City's casinos are facing renewed competition and a real crunch.
Nearby, casinos have sprouted in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and Connecticut.
Now, New Jersey has to pull out all the stops to keep Atlantic City viable as a gambling and tourist Mecca. We're talking more than those day-tripping bus excursions here.
To his credit, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has taken a very activeninterest in the plight of Atlantic City and has been successful in creating new initiatives to revive what was once considered "America's playground."
But here's quick thought -- a suggestion, really. If we.re really serious about making Atlantic City attractive to visitors, isn't it time to eliminate the dreaded paking fees at Atlantic City casinos?
Right now there is a minimum state-imposed $3.00 parking charge for self-parking at casinos. This charge was initiated at $2.00 but has since been raised (as they almost always are).
As I understand it the money goes to the casino reinvestment fund and it somehow benefits Atlantiv City. And that's fine. But what might really benefit Atlantic City is lots more casino traffic. LOTS more.
And don't forget this: On evenings and weekends the casinos themselves jack up the parking charge to as much as $20.
So, what started as free parking can now cost you as much as twenty bucks.
Atlantic City is the only casino venue in the nation that charges for parking. The only one. Even if you chose to patronage a casino near center city Philadelphia (an area notorious for it's onerous parking charges) you won't have to pay to park.
If Atlantic City is really, really serious anoint ginning things up it's time to drop the parking fees. Or, at the very least maybe they. Could lower or drop the fees during certain hours.
In any event, something MUST be done.