Atlantic City Casinos Hope to Ride Summer Wave Into Busy Fall Season

Posted on: September 9, 2021, 12:43h. 

Last updated on: September 9, 2021, 12:25h.

Atlantic City casinos frolicked in the 2021 summer sun, as pent-up demand drove throngs of visitors back to the New Jersey beachfront gaming town. The industry hopes its star-studded lineup of entertainment in the fall months ahead can keep the rally going.

Atlantic City casinos fall New Jersey
Phish fans pack the Atlantic City beach in August of 2021. Casino resorts hope to keep the New Jersey casino destination busy, as the summer ends and fall and cooler months arrive. (Image: Atlantic City Police Department/Twitter)

The Casino Association of New Jersey (CANJ) represents the nine casinos in the New Jersey Trenton capital. The group advocates regulations and policies believed to be in the best interest of the casinos. The CANJ tells that the gaming industry is excited to put the summer behind and move forward with the fall season.

Atlantic City casinos are ready to welcome back even more guests this fall as we kick off the 2021 football and convention season with even more expanded amenities.” said Terry Glebocki, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey.

Glebocki is the chief executive of Ocean Casino Resort on the Boardwalk. She recently took over as CANJ president, replacing longtime Atlantic City casino executive Steve Callender in May.

Casinos Shine in Summer

Following a most difficult year, Atlantic City casinos reported gross operating profits in the second quarter of 2021 that exceeded earnings in the same three-month period in 2019. Profits totaled $185.1 million for April through June 2021 — 16 percent better than in Q2 2019.

With schools returning to in-person learning, businesses returning workers to offices, and perhaps some of that pent-up demand satisfied during the 2021 summer, Atlantic City is trying to keep the casino beach town worthy of a cold-weather visit.

The CANJ release on the fall and winter seasons are dominated by scheduled entertainment. Notable entertainers set to perform:

  • Alice Cooper — Ocean — Sept. 10
  • Santana — Borgata — Sept. 11
  • Guns N’ Roses — Hard Rock — Sept. 11-12
  • The Beach Boys — Ocean — Sept. 17
  • Smokey Robinson — Ocean — Oct. 1
  • Chicago — Borgata — Oct. 2
  • Pitbull — Hard Rock — Oct. 29
  • Collective Soul – Ocean — Oct. 30
  • John Fogerty — Hard Rock — Nov. 12
  • Chelsea Handler — Borgata — Nov. 26
  • REO Speedwagon — Tropicana — Dec. 4

Though Q2 profits were strong, a concern is that resort hotel occupancy remains lower compared with 2019. Casino rooms were occupied at a rate of 81.5 percent in Q2 2019, but only 70 percent in Q2 2021.

The better 2021 Q2 profits, analysts said, were instead the result of casinos trimming their overhead and streamlining their operations.

Fall Traditionally Slow

For those who remained vigilant this summer amid COVID-19 and refrained from traveling, the fall represents an ideal time for an AC trip, one publication touts.

In the fall, hotel rates and airfares drop with the temperatures, especially after Labor Day. The crowds are generally smaller, but some attractions close up shop this time of year,” explains US News & World Report’s travel guide for Atlantic City.

In 2019, the average nightly room rate at an Atlantic City casino hotel during July through September went for around $146. In the final three months of the year, that rate dropped to $126.