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Atlantic City Embraces Risque Side

12 June 2003

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – As reported by the Knight Ridder-Tribune: “Let's get this straight. Atlantic City, home of the geezer bus brigade, all-you-can-eat buffets and regulars who bolt before sundown, is starting to embrace its naughty side?

“Well maybe just a little naughty.

“Following in the steps of big sister Vegas - where the pirate show at Treasure Island is being ditched for one starring women who are `part muse, part pirate, part wench, part temptress’ - some Atlantic City casinos and image makers believe it's time for a more risque image.

“Or at least a looser, edgier, more grownup one.

“…As in, yes we gamble. We drink out in the open. We wear skimpy bathing suits. We embrace the sun and the "liquid paradise" of the ocean (and its new bars). We demand double showers in Bible-free rooms. We brand ourselves as sensual. We party after dark. We will even soon be able to dance interactively while doing all of the above. Can the Miss Universe pageant be far behind?

“`It's not to the point where we're going to have a checkpoint at the tollbooth and all kids get out of the car,’ said Jeffrey Vasser, the resort's tourism czar.

“Even so, the resort's motto - `America's Favorite Playground,’ which in one form or another has been around for a century - has been ditched.

“Vasser said the city wants to `ride the wave’ of the coming $1.1 billion Borgata and all the new retail and entertainment being built around town.

“…Initially, the tourism gurus dove right in with `Think of it as Entertainment for Adults.’ But they quickly ran from that.

“…They settled on the tamer `Entertainment for Grownups.’ With this slogan they plan a $500,000 public relations blitz in the fall.

“…OK, so maybe it's not quite up to Las Vegas' recent national eyebrow-raising marketing campaign, with its `What happens here, stays here’ tag line and clips of a woman in the back of a limousine changing `back into her business attire.’

“…Meanwhile, at the many strip clubs outside the casinos, where long lines can be found on the weekends, they're not feeling the heat. `The best adult entertainment in Atlantic City is Babes,’ touts the Web site for one new gentleman's club.”

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