New Jersey’s Ocean Casino Resort has embarked on a remarkable project to revitalize its eroded beach, investing $700,000 entirely from its own funds. The casino’s General Manager, Callahan, and several officials conceived the idea during a casual coffee walk last fall. While gazing out the window, they noticed a distressing lack of sand between the Boardwalk and the ocean, prompting concerns about the disappearance of the beach itself.
A Priority for Ocean Casino Resort
Callahan expressed his worry about providing guests with a subpar experience, stating, “Come to an unbelievable $2.5 billion resort and not have a beach. We just couldn’t have that.” Hence, the casino prioritized obtaining necessary licenses from state and federal authorities to independently undertake the work.
Creating a New 110-Foot-Wide Beach
The casino-resort aims to unveil a new 110-foot-wide beach just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Severe erosion near the casino had reduced the beach’s width to a mere 5 to 8 feet (1.5 to 2.4 meters) in certain areas. Recognizing the potential delay in waiting for the next government-funded beach replenishment project, which could take another year or two, Callahan and the team were motivated to take immediate action.
A Casino Financing Its Own Beach Renovation
While private parties undertaking their own beach replenishment projects are uncommon, they are not unheard of, according to Stephen Rochette, a spokesperson for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. However, most prefer to wait for government-funded projects in which costs are shared by federal, state, and local entities. Seasoned executives in Atlantic City’s casino industry also noted that they could not recall a casino financing its own beach widening using private funds.
Sand Placement and Project Timeline
Ryan Burch, Vice President of Hotel Operations at the casino, revealed that approximately half of the project’s target of 12,810 tons of sand had been placed as of Friday. The entire endeavor is slated for completion by May 19 next year. Once finished, crews will carefully smooth out the sand, ensuring it matches the color and grain of the existing beach. The sand is sourced from a private company located in Eagleswood Township, around half an hour north of Atlantic City.
A Long-Term Commitment
The area in front of Ocean Casino historically suffered from the most severe erosion on Absecon Island, where Atlantic City is situated. Previous beach widening initiatives often did not last the full three-year period before qualifying for government-led renourishment, and some were washed away within just one year. Callahan emphasized the commitment to maintaining the beach experience, stating, “If the beach needs to be rebuilt again with private money, it will be. This is part of the experience. You can’t have a resort without a beach.” By taking the initiative to restore and preserve their beachfront, Ocean Casino Resort demonstrates its dedication to providing an exceptional guest experience and ensuring the longevity of its esteemed establishment.
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