New Jersey lawmaker: Let Atlantic City visitors drink on Boardwalk

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A New Jersey lawmaker has come up with a way to generate some new buzz in Atlantic City: Let people drink on the Boardwalk and beach. (WPVI)

A New Jersey lawmaker has come up with a way to generate some new buzz in Atlantic City: Let people drink on the Boardwalk and beach.

Tom Kean, the state's senate Republican leader, made the suggestion Wednesday in a letter to Jon Hansen, a confidante of Gov. Chris Christie tasked by the governor with coordinating efforts to revive the seaside gambling resort.

Kean's suggestions include better air service to the resort, tax incentives for big-time entertainment, and establishing a cruise ship port. But he also said Atlantic City should loosen up about letting people carry open containers of alcohol.

He said it would allow patrons to more easily move from one beach or Boardwalk bar to another, and would put Atlantic City in league with tourist destinations such as Las Vegas, Key West and New Orleans, which either permit open containers of alcohol in public, or turn a blind eye to all but the worst violations.

Las Vegas permits drinks of any kind on The Strip's sidewalks as long they are in a container made of plastic, paper or aluminum. New Orleans also allows public alcohol consumption provided it's not from a glass container.

Key West has a law on its books prohibiting open containers of alcohol, though many visitors say it is loosely enforced. And a few tourist spots are specifically exempted from it.

Atlantic City already is taking baby steps in that direction. It is allowing the possession of open alcohol containers on the Boardwalk this weekend during a Wine Promenade event. People will be permitted to move from one wine tent to another with an open glass of wine.

Kean's letter is a follow-up from a summit Christie held earlier this month on ways to help Atlantic City, which has seen four of its 12 casinos go out of business so far this year.

A fifth, the Trump Taj Mahal, could close in November. That would put close to 11,000 casino workers out of work so far this year.

Related Topics:
businessn.j. newsboardwalkcasinoalcoholAtlantic City
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