Widespread support for Atlantic City Boardwalk booze policy

Thursday, May 19, 2016
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Atlantic City is considering a policy that would allow booze on the boardwalk.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (WPVI) -- Atlantic City is considering a policy that would allow booze on the boardwalk.

A last-minute hitch caused the matter to be postponed for a while longer. But it has widespread support, and it seems inevitable that it will pass, especially since officials are looking for new ideas to save the cash-strapped city.

"They let me out. (From Resorts?) Anywhere, they'll let you out," said Pat Zavetoski.

Zavetoski says the No Alcoholic Container law is loosely enforced as it is, so why not make it official?

"And they need to do it to save Atlantic City," said Zavetoski.

The proposed ordinance would allow open alcoholic containers on the boardwalk from the Resorts Casino to the Tropicana.

It has the backing of the Atlantic City Alcohol Control Board, whose chairman argues it makes sense since the city has four beach bars that sell booze.

"I really believe that this is gonna pass. I think it opens up Atlantic City as a true destination resort similar to Disney World," said Tom Forklin, Atlantic City Alcohol Control Board. "they have an open container law in Disney World, They have one in Key West, they have one in New Orleans."

A vote on the matter has been postponed because it seems other businesses - who are not on the boardwalk, but are in the tourism zone - want in on the deal.

"Instead of voting on it tonight, and then if it was changes at the 1st reading, and have to go back at 1st reading, the smart thing to do, and the right thing to do, is just to pull it for tonight and get everything together," said Atlantic City Council President Marty Small.

Among visitors on the boardwalk, there were pros and cons.

"I don't want more drunks or anything. The bars are enough," said Annette Tremper of Mt. Laurel. "I don't think that we need to have open containers."

"As long as you're responsible, I don't see no harm in it," said Adam Bata of Bordentown.

"The people might have a tendency to over drink or leave their empty containers or glassware, and then it makes an expense for the city and people to clean up," said Chris Oster of Alexandria, Virginia.

For his part, Small says he too supports the measure, and hopes it can all be settled for a final vote in July.