Atlantic City, Open For Business
I find it amazing that over two years have passed since Hurricane Sandy. I was a fairly frequent visitor to Atlantic City in the aftermath of Sandy and took many photographs as the rebuilding took place. Stealing a little from Governor Christie I used the hashtags #strongerthanthestorm and #jerseystrong a lot on Instagram.
The strange thing is it never really struck me that Sandy is only one of three storms that Atlantic City has had to endure in recent years. The first and I'd nearly say the most damaging was the economic crisis of '08 followed by Sandy and then this year's casino closings. Of course there is now also the ever present headwinds of competition from gaming expansion in other States. It's clear to me that the city is weathering these storms nicely and is very much open for business.
I just spent the weekend in Atlantic City as a guest of the Atlantic City Alliance. The alliance's mandate is the promotion of non gaming tourism. I will be writing separate posts for some places we experienced but wanted write an overview post.
From cooking classes in The Viking Cooking School at Harrahs in The Marina District to the tastes and sounds of Old Havana at Cuba Libre in The Tropicana at the other end of the Boardwalk and lot more in between including shows, sporting events and shopping, you could easily visit and never gamble, I probably couldn't but you get the idea.
There is also an abundance of dining choices that go way beyond the casino buffet.
Viking Cooking School, Harrahs Resort
As some body who did a full on European style apprenticeship in cooking I did not expect much from The Viking Cooking School. Much to my surprise not only did I learn but the social interaction during the class was a lot of fun. You basically cook your own lunch in teams of four with instruction from the chef. It is so well planned and timed out that even the most inexperienced cook will not feel intimidated. This would be such a great idea for an adult family or group of friends to do.
A few fellow bloggers who were in agreement on how enjoyable the class was.
Cuba Libre and The Quarter At Tropicana Resort
Cuba Libre, The Quarter, Tropicana Resort
It's been ten years since Tropicana opened The Quarter, a dining and shopping complex modeled on Old Havana. It has been one of my favorite places in Atlantic City for many years. Start your morning in Seattle with a coffee in Starbucks, Lunch in Ireland with fish and chips at Ri Ra and hit the islands for dinner at Cuba Libre all within a very short walk of each other. There are plenty of other choices which I will write about in an upcoming post. I also want to write about the amazing tasting menu at Cuba Libre.
Street Eats At Savor Borgata
Savor Borgata is a weeklong celebration of everything culinary that the resort has to offer. It's like New York restaurant week but without having to venture outside the same building. It culminates in Street Eats which is a grand tasting of the food and drinks The Borgata has to offer. Some well known chefs were on hand interacting with their admirers. Wolfgang Puck, Geoffrey Zacarian and Bobby Flay amongst others were all in the mix.
This is only a taste of what I got up to this weekend and I want to do each place more justice in individual posts. This is just to point out that Atlantic City truly is still alive and kicking.
Disclaimer: The Atlantic City Alliance funded this trip but all the opinions are my own.