Atlantic City Expressway Traffic on the Decline
The amount of traffic on the Atlantic City Expressway has decreased significantly, possibly due to the closings of four casinos since the start of the year.
Year-to-date through September, toll-paying traffic dropped by more than 5 percent at the Pleasantville Plaza, the toll closest to Atlantic City, compared to the first nine months of last year. The marker saw 815,358 fewer vehicles.
Dr. Israel Posner, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton College, said this year's casino closures have clearly had an impact on the number of employees and visitors coming to Atlantic City.
However, Posner said, the year-to-date dropoff in casino revenue is even greater, which could mean a shift in how people are spending their time in the resort town.
"There's still a lot of people coming into town, but what's going on is they're not spending as much in the casinos, or they're not going for the purpose of the casino," Posner said.
An increasing number of visits have targeted special events, entertainment and shopping, Posner suggested. The city has been working to transform itself from a gambling hub to a complete resort destination.
"Toll Free Tuesdays" were offered on the expressway in October to attract more midweek visitors. Atlantic City Alliance, the brains of the promotion, had no revenue numbers to report as of late Monday. A spokesperson for the group said she is not aware of any similar promotions for the near future.
Posner predicted better traffic figures for October, considering the toll promotion and lower prices at the gas pump.