Despite the hype around the opening of the city's newest casino and the "Do AC" advertising campaign, Atlantic City's nongaming tourism business climate held steady in May, according to a report released Monday by the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority.
"We're not at our peak season yet … so we don't see huge hits until the June numbers come out," said Jeff Vasser, president of the agency. "With Revel opening in early April and 'Do AC' launching in mid-April, there's a longer lag time before you see the big jump. But I think we'll see that jump in the next month."
According to the South Jersey Transportation Authority's May figures, the number of cars on the Atlantic City Expressway and at the Pleasantville toll plaza was stable from April, with only slightly higher traffic from May 2011. In the agency's report, Spectrum Gaming Group noted the average price of gas per gallon was lower than previous months and the prior year, and the average temperature was the same as last year.
Both air and overnight bus passenger arrivals fell in May, after increasing 8 percent and 24.4 percent, respectively, in April.
Even with the disappointing travel figures, Vasser said the tourism business climate in Atlantic City was "great compared to Memorial Day of last year," noting the total number of tourists stopping at visitor welcome centers on the expressway and Boardwalk is up 22 percent year-to-date.
"We won't get the tax receipts from restaurants, lounges and nightclubs for another month, but it was a very good month, as far as the number of people in town goes," Vasser said. "I think the numbers will be on an uptrend."
While nongaming business indicators barely fluctuated from May 2011, Atlantic City's casinos reported a 9.5 percent drop from last May's gaming revenues, pulling in $263 million in winnings last month.