Atlantic City OKs open container laws on city’s boardwalk to boost business

For the first time, Atlantic City tourists will be able to enjoy an alcoholic beverage while strolling on the city’s boardwalk.

News 12 Staff

Jun 12, 2020, 8:27 PM

Updated 1,407 days ago

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For the first time, Atlantic City tourists will be able to enjoy an alcoholic beverage while strolling on the city’s boardwalk.
Searching for ways to boost tourism amid the coronavirus pandemic in a resort whose casinos remain closed and restaurants still can’t offer indoor dining, the city is dropping a longtime prohibition on drinking on the boardwalk to try to capture the party spirit of places like New Orleans. Mayor Marty Small issued an executive order on Monday allowing for public consumption of alcohol in a few areas including the boardwalk.
Open containers will be allowed between Sovereign Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue.
“The advantage of the open container is you’re traveling with a group, everybody drinks at a different pace. ‘Hurry up and finish your drink so we can go to the next bar.’ No, take your time, take it with you. It’s OK to move around. That’s what we want you to do,” says Pat Fasano, owner of the Orange Loop.
Atlantic City business owners say that the new rules will help them to move forward as they reopen amid the pandemic.
“I’ve got a bar that you can’t sit at, so what am I going to do?” asks Fasano. “I’ve got to pay my taxes, my mortgage and certainly at least it gives us an avenue to be able to sell alcohol.”
WATCH: Skyhawk12 Flies Over the Atlantic City Boardwalk
Bars will be limited to serving drinks in 16-ounce plastic cups. Mayor Small says that police will be patrolling to make sure no one gets too rowdy.
Tourists say that they hope this will help Atlantic City get back on track.
“They’re hurting really bad, really bad because this is the only thing that keeps the city going,” says Laura Forest, of Mays Landing.
Photos: Your Coronavirus Pandemic Experience
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Figures released by the state Friday show that Atlantic City’s nine casinos and two elsewhere in the state, won just over $91 million in May, a decrease of over 65% from a year earlier. That put May just below April in terms of the greatest decline ever for Atlantic City, when revenue was down nearly 69%.
Casinos in New Jersey have been closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus outbreak, and no reopening date has been set, despite the fact that casinos in numerous other states have begun to resume operations in recent weeks.
Open containers will be allowed in the designated areas until November.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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