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Atlantic City Occupancy Rates Up

19 April 2004

ATLANTIC CITY – As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "Year-end figures released Friday show that casino revenue and hotel occupancy rates rose in 2003, even though the number of visitors dropped 2.9 percent to 32.2 million.

"Analysts said Atlantic City's quest to shed its low-rolling, day-tripper image and instead be known as an overnight tourist destination similar to Las Vegas seems to be paying off. Sort of.

"At the same time, figures indicate that the city continues to be a largely drive-in market heavily dependent on day-trippers arriving by car or bus.

"…Hotel room nights jumped 9 percent and casino revenue increased 2 percent to $4.49 billion in 2003, a year highlighted by July's grand opening of the 2,000-room Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

"…Pursuing more lucrative overnight guests, casinos have been cutting back on costly giveaways such as free coins and meal discounts that are used to lure budget-conscious bus patrons to town.

"…Including 2003, the city's annual visitor count has dropped four of the last five years since peaking at 34.3 million in 1998. The 2.9 percent drop overall in 2003 was mainly attributed to a 12 percent decline in the number of casino bus passengers, down from 7.5 million to 6.7 million…"

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