This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Would Bruce Springsteen Revel in Atlantic City's Collapse?

Stocks in this article: CZR

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bruce Springsteen was ahead of his time in predicting the plight of Atlantic City as it turned to gambling to fill an economic hole in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Now, amid the collapse of Atlantic City’s largest-ever casino project let’s hope the optimistic notes in Springsteen’s 1982 classic Atlantic City prove equally clairvoyant.

The second bankruptcy of the Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City in June and its failure to find a buyer in court appears to be the turning-point moment where investors and legislators finally give up on the city’s gambling future.

Some are likening the collapse of Revel and the gambling market in Atlantic City to the downfall of Detroit, according to a Bloomberg article. Casinos across the city’s boardwalk hang in the balance, including the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and the Showboat Atlantic City, TheDeal reported in July. For years, investors have also treated the city’s gambling market as "toxic." 

Read More: Revel Atlantic City Doesn’t Find a Buyer 

In that sense Atlantic City, like Detroit, may need to start rethinking its future. Surely job losses will be fierce as casinos like Revel close and businesses feel the pressure of falling tourism. But was Atlantic City’s gambling economy ever really sustainable?

Many, like Bruce Springsteen, were skeptical of the city’s roll of the dice from the outset. In that sense, maybe the downfall of Atlantic City's gambling market may create a fresh start. Consider what gambling replaced.

Atlantic City was a booming resort town at the outset of the 20th century, attracting tourists by rail from large East Coast cities. The city was even a favorite vacation spot for wealthy robber barons. At its peak, Atlantic City's boardwalk was lined with architectural masterpieces such as the Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel and the Traymore Hotel.

The city suffered in the wake of World War II as travel by automobile and air went mainstream, allowing vacationers easy access to new regions. By the late 1960s some began lobbying for Atlantic City to adopt gambling as a way to bring tourists and their money back. Faced with a worsening economy, gambling was approved in 1976.

Hotels like the Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel and the Traymore were demolished to make way for Atlantic City’s nondescript concrete and glass gaming behemoths.

Those demolitions are captured vividly in Springsteen’s music video for Atlantic City, which opens with the razing of the Marlborough-Blenheim and then broods over the contrasts of the city’s Queen Anne-styled architecture and its formulaic new casinos.

Perhaps, as Springsteen implies, maybe it is now the casinos that have seen their day. Turning to gambling instead of revitalizing and reinvesting in the city’s history and architecture, in retrospect, appears to have been poor urban planning on Atlantic City’s part.

Everything dies baby that's a fact. But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.

Read More: Investor Calls Atlantic City Paper Toxic 

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

Follow @AntoineGara

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs