Posted April 29, 2008 by Carl Unger
Look at the calendar, my friends—it ain't April Fool's Day. A Market Metrix survey of 35,000 combined visitors to both cities shows that people prefer Atlantic City to Las Vegas, albeit by a slim margin. A.C. edged out Sin City in overall customer satisfaction, as well as "emotion scores," which measure seemingly unquantifiable attributes such as how sophisticated and hip/cool each city is. Atlantic City was considered to be a far greater value, which is probably the source of most of its appeal.
I can't help but feel a little befuddled here. I grew up in Jersey, and I've been to Atlantic City a number of times, though admittedly not in years. I recall, however, a prevailing feeling of shabbiness, and what I remember most is seeing bus after bus unloading retirees from the northern suburbs. Not exactly hip and cool, right? Vegas, on the other hand, is a nonstop circus of over-the-top debauchery and glamour, even if the latter is mostly superficial.
That said, Atlantic City has changed a great deal in the past five or seven years. New hotels such as the Borgata have classed up the place, bringing in celebrity chefs and popular acts like Sheryl Crow and Eric Clapton (and Paul Anka, but who's counting?). Conversely, Vegas is creeping toward overkill (which, for Vegas, is saying a lot), with mega-hotel after mega-hotel rising up like a bad poker player's debt.
I turn to you, my fair readers, for some insight here. Help a lost blogger make sense of this. Is Atlantic City, tucked away in stinky (but loveable) New Jersey, really preferable to the glitzy, elegant, celebrity-magnet kingdom of Las Vegas? Post your comments below!