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Atlantic City study shows positive growth

21 September 2007

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Interest in visiting Atlantic City remains "turned on," according to key second quarter visitation statistics. Several key indicators, including occupied room nights, overall occupancy rates, and average daily rates were up year over year. Additionally, key portals to Atlantic City vacation planning, including the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority's (ACCVA) official web site, Atlanticcitynj.com and Visitors Centers reported significant usage increases. Visitor arrivals Second quarter statistics included:

-- Occupied room nights up 1.7 percent; 1,241,314 in 2007 over 1,219,840 in 2006

-- Overall occupancy rates up 2.5 percent; 94.3 percent in 2007 over 92 percent in 2006

-- Average daily hotel rate up 7.1 percent; $101.32 in 2007 over $94.60 in 2006

The ACCVA's Web Site, which was relaunched in January, has already attracted 10.1 percent more visitors than all of 2006, averaging 184,119 unique visitors per month. Summer visitation to the ACCVA's two information centers, located on the Atlantic City Expressway and the Boardwalk, was up 6.4 percent year over year.

"We are truly seeing a continued growth in the Atlantic City visitor base," said Jeffrey Vasser, executive director of the ACCVA. "The buzz factor surrounding all the new development this summer alone, such as the new shops at The Walk, The Pool at Harrah's and Providence nightclub in The Quarter at Tropicana shows the depth and diversity of non-gaming attractions which are broadening the city's appeal as a resort destination."

This news comes on the heels of record breaking numbers released by NJ Transit on its Atlantic City Rail Line indicating 100,000 more passenger trips in fiscal year 2007. Marking the fourth consecutive year that the line has set a ridership record, passengers took approximately 1.3 million trips on the line that stretches between Atlantic City and Philadelphia.

Vasser cited strong booking numbers reported by the Greater Atlantic City Golf Association (GACGA) for the summer months, as well as visitation increases at The Atlantic City Aquarium as indicators that the city is evolving beyond the Boardwalk.

The GACGA which is an all inclusive source for golfers, including golf vacation packages with many area hotels, has booked substantially many more rounds of golf at member courses throughout the prime summer months. June showed 11.5 percent above 2006; July brought 86.9 percent more than in 2006 and August tee times rose an exceptional 104.79 percent above the same time period last year.

The Atlantic City Aquarium has experienced sharp increases in visitation throughout the past three years but most dramatically in 2007 to date with a 63.4 percent increase over 2006. Jack Keith, executive director of the Atlantic City Historical Waterfront Foundation, attributes the positive results to non-gaming improvements in the City.

"Greater marketing initiatives to a varied audience is the here and now," said Keith. "This is just the beginning but positive numbers and results speak for themselves and the bottom line is Atlantic City is not just one but several steps closer to ensuring a frequent, content and more diverse guest."

According to Vasser, the more there is for visitors to see and do in Atlantic City, the better for all. "We now have world-class shopping at spots like The Pier Shops at Caesars and The Walk, high-profile new restaurants with celebrity chefs, more nightlife, luxury spas and world-class hotel accommodations," he said. "Couple this with our unmatched variety of gaming options and what you have is a complete destination that appeals to many different kinds of visitors. This is the new Atlantic City and we're certainly turned on by the great visitor interest and business."

The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority serves as the destination's principal marketing arm, stimulating economic growth through convention, business and leisure tourism development.

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