Tomorrow many of us give thanks for our families, our health, and the food at the table; but while we feast in comfort, areas of New York and New Jersey have yet to bounce back after Hurricane Sandy. One place that does have something to be thankful for is Atlantic City and many of the businesses there, which, miraculously, didn’t suffer as much damage as you might think.
“Thankfully we were not structurally affected,” said chef Alain Allegretti, a partner at Azure by Allegretti in Atlantic City. “Besides being closed for a total of 12 days, the only problem we had was contaminated water.” John Meadow, a principal/founder at LDV Hospitality, which owns and operates three restaurants at Revel Resorts, mirrored that sentiment and said, “The overall theme [of the hurricane] seems to be that it’s terribly devastating in the surrounding areas, but in Atlantic City you couldn’t see any effect. We lost food when we shut down, but Atlantic City proper is surprisingly in good shape.”
The worst damage to the area occurred in the residential area, ABC reported:
“The Atlantic City Boardwalk that was washed out by Hurricane Sandy is an area limited to the Boardwalk fronting the Absecon Inlet only,” Thomas R. Gilbert, District Commander of the Atlantic City Tourism District, told ABC News following our initial report on the damage. “That small section of the Boardwalk is located in South Inlet, a prominent residential section of Atlantic City.”
While everyone just assumed the glitzy, seaside gambling town was washed away, and earlier reports said as much, actually, it’s not too bad. Yes, since most people don’t know that, they haven’t had much business since Hurricane Sandy.
“People think it’s under water, but that’s not the case,” said Meadow. “Business has been significantly hurt by virtue of this general fear factor.”
Meadow isn’t callous to his neighbor’s plight, he said, “You don’t think about having good steaks, good wine, and whole fish when your neighbor just lost his house.” However, he mentioned the majority of their customers that first week were people who had just lost everything and needed a little escape from the wreckage.
Now, he and other Atlantic City business owners are urging others to take break from reality and head to the one part of the New Jersey shore that survived the storm. In the end, it appears a little debauchery pays off.