was only Monday, but there was every indication that this would be
a very busy week in Atlantic City.
The sun was
shining, the boardwalk was hopping with tourists and the casinos
were once again open.
"Things appear to
be getting back to normal," said Elaine Zamansky, a spokeswoman for
the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority, as Atlantic
City steadily returned to business as usual after all 12 of the
city's casinos were forced to shut down on July 5.
unprecedented in the 28-year history of Atlantic City gaming, was
the result of a impasse over New Jersey's 2007 state budget, as
Gov. Jon Corzine and state lawmakers squared off over how best to
close a projected $4 billion deficit.
As the July 1
deadline for approving the budget for the 2007 fiscal year came and
went, the governor began furloughing nonessential government
Day, the furloughs continued with state parks and beach
Finally, on July 5,
casino inspectors, who supervise gaming activity in Atlantic City,
were sent home. Casinos, by law, are not permitted to operate
without state supervision.
Soon after the
shutdown, at least half of the 45,000 people who work in Atlantic
City's casinos were also sent home.
A budget agreement
was reached within days. While the shutdown lasted just 72 hours,
it took a toll.
At least one news
report dubbed Atlantic City's famed Boardwalk the "Bored walk," as
gaming vacationers strolled around with little to do other than
soak up sunshine, shop and dine.
gamblers trekked northward
"People who were
interested only in gambling left or were not happy about sticking
around," Zamansky said.
Some made their way
to southeastern Connecticut to gamble in the region's two casinos,
Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun.
double-digit increases," said Sandra Rios, a Foxwoods
welcomes about 40,000 guests a day. The resort added more
motorcoaches to handle the influx of visitors.
Hotel occupancy at
Foxwoods typically runs high during the summer, Rios
reporter Michael Milligan, send e-mail to [email protected].