Miss America’s much-heralded return to Atlantic City, coupled with popular events such as the Atlantic City Triathlon and the Atlantic City Seafood Festival, brought new tourists to Atlantic City in September, as seen in a 49% increase over last September in visitors to the Atlantic City Information Centers on the Boardwalk and the Atlantic City Expressway. In general, visitors stopping at the centers are new to the area or haven’t been here recently.
The centers, operated by the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA) division of CRDA, helped more than 17,900 people with information, directions, hotel room bookings, and literature about the destination. Room nights booked at the centers increased 19% over last September, with 858 room nights booked, creating an economic impact of more than $87,000.
Also, of the nearly 200,000 unique visitors in September to the www.doatlatniccity.com Website operated by the ACCVA, 70% were new visitors, signaling interest from potential new tourists coming for events and vacations.
Use of mobile technology continued to increase as well, with a 61% jump over the same month last year in users of the ACCVA’s mobile.accva.org site. More than 115,000 people obtained information about the destination on mobile devices, which indicates many of them used the site while in transit to Atlantic City or once they arrived for information about events, dining, hotels, nightlife, parking and other traveler’s needs. Year to date, use of the mobile site is up 41% over the same period of 2012.
Eight events were held during the month at the Atlantic City Convention Center, bringing 10,755 delegates to the city, about the same as last year. Those delegates spent more than $5.67 million.
At Boardwalk Hall, the Miss America Competition attracted a live audience of 20,593 people for the preliminary and final competitions combined, as well as millions of TV viewers who saw images of the city throughout the broadcast.
Traffic information for the Atlantic City Expressway and air travel at ACY for the month was not yet available from the South Jersey Transportation Authority at time of publication.
Spectrum Gaming Group provides the following additional independent insight to factors impacting September’s business climate:
The following factors may have impacted drive-in visitation and tourism metrics related to Atlantic City in September 2013:
• On a year-over-year calendar day basis, September 2013 was less favorable compared to September 2012, as there were 13 “weekend” days this year versus 14 such days last year (i.e., there was one less Saturday this year, but one more Monday than last year).
• No extreme weather phenomena impacted Atlantic City during September 2013. According to the National Weather Service, September 2013 was both cooler and drier than September 2012.
• The average daily temperature this year was 65 degrees compared to an average daily temperature of 67 degrees in September 2012.
• Total precipitation in September 2013 was well below the amount reported in September 2012, and well below normal for the month (precipitation was 1.2 inches in September 2013 compared to 3.5 inches in September 2012, while the normal amount for September is 3.2 inches). September 2013 had 4 days with heavy rainfall (one-tenth of one inch or more) compared to 6 such days in September 2012. Only one weekend period in September 2013 had days with heavy rainfall, while days with heavy rainfall impacted two of the weekend periods in September 2012.
• According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average price for a gallon of gas in the region for September 2013 was down 7.1 percent versus September of last year ($3.69 vs. $3.97 per gallon). Additionally, the average gas price for September 2013 was down compared to the preceding month (August 2013), as the average price for a gallon of gas in the region decreased by 1.4 percent, or by $0.05 per gallon.
The figures quoted above and others are available in the monthly Tourism Barometer, available online at http://www.doatlanticcity.com/about/stats.aspx.
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About the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) www.njcrda.com
The only agency of its kind nationwide, the CRDA has used Atlantic City casino reinvestments as a catalyst for meaningful, positive improvement in the lives of New Jersey residents statewide, investing nearly $2 billion in more than 400 projects statewide since 1984. Under the 2011 Tourism District Act, CRDA’s mission evolved from statewide projects to becoming the state’s key economic development agency for Atlantic City. CRDA responsibilities expanded to include Land Use Regulation, Clean and Safe initiatives, group and leisure tourism marketing, attracting and retaining conventions and meetings at the Atlantic City Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall, and partnership with the Atlantic City Alliance to brand and market Atlantic City. Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority division of CRDA is the first destination marketing organization in New Jersey to achieve prestigious Destination Marketing Accreditation by the Destination Marketing Association International.
For complete Atlantic City tourism and convention information, visit www.doatlanticcity.com. Also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AtlanticCityNJ and Twitter at #njcrda.