Atlantic City is resuming its "Do AC" ad campaign with a new urgency in light of a survey that found four out of 10 respondents wrongly believe the New Jersey resort's boardwalk was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.
In fact, the nation's first boardwalk came through the storm unscathed.
Just a two-block section around the corner from the casinos was hurt by the storm, and that part was damaged by previous storms and had already been condemned.
Starting Tuesday, the Atlantic City Alliance, the casinos' new marketing arm, will resume ads stressing the theme that Atlantic City is "open for business" with lots to do besides gambling.
They're needed as the resort continues to struggle with plunging revenue in the storm's aftermath. Analysts say it could take six months or more for the casinos to recover from the storm.
Due to the Sandy's track, Atlantic City suffered minimal damage and reopened for business after five days. But people are still not coming back in pre-storm numbers. The livelihoods of more than 40,000 employees in 12 casinos, plus hospitality industry workers at businesses catering to the tourism industry, all depend on a strong visitor base.
The alliance commissioned a national online poll that found about 40 per cent of respondents believe the Atlantic City Boardwalk has been destroyed. It questioned 1,320 adults across the United States, plus an additional respondents from the Northeast, considered the closest and most likely to visit Atlantic City.
The campaign includes a new 30-second television advertisement; a full-page ad in The New York Times featuring the boardwalk on Nov. 28; new radio and email ads; a front-page wrap of the Philadelphia Inquirer; and an Atlantic City-themed balloon in Philadelphia's Thanksgiving Day parade.
A holiday lighting program and parade will be held in Atlantic City on Dec. 1.
Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC