The new consortium of Atlantic City casinos which is taking over marketing for the struggling New Jersey oceanside resort has brought in Edelman to guide its PR.
Liza Cartmell, installed in October as CEO of the non-profit Atlantic City Alliance, said hiring the top independent PR firm “will go a long way in addressing some of Atlantic City’s challenges, while still highlighting all of the factors that make the city so great.”
The Alliance was created with $30M in annual commitments from the city’s casino operators as part of a public-private partnership with the Garden State.
Edelman/New York president Russell Dubner said the firm looks forward to having a stake in “reviving” the city.
The Alliance last month hired Euro RSCG to handle the advertising portion of its push.
Annual visit trips to A.C. have fallen from 33.7M in 1999 to 28.5M in 2011, according to the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority, which had worked with Lou Hammond & Associates and is giving up its marketing duties to the new alliance.
Approval of slot machines and table games in surrounding states, relatively inexpensive flights to Las Vegas, and the urban decay of the city itself are among factors that have contributed to the declines.
Gov. Chris Christie created a special “tourism district” for Atlantic City last year, ceding control over the beachfront area to the casino industry’s government body in the state in a bid to revitalize the city over the next 10 years.
About $11.3M is budgeted for marketing A.C. in 2012.