Contact: David Zuba, Publicist, Media Relations/Communications
CRDA BOARD APPROVES STATE-OF-THE-ART CITYWIDE LIGHTING PROGRAM; PROVIDES FUNDING FOR FREE SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT, CONCERTS
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – (Wednesday, April 22, 2015) – The Board of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) approved several measures at its recent meeting that will relight the city with bright LED bulbs, install security cameras the length of the Boardwalk, fund summer entertainment and assist in the continued restoration efforts of the Midmer Losh organ at Boardwalk Hall.
The Board approved a plan to enter into a seven-year agreement with the Atlantic County Improvement Authority (ACIA) to fund a loan in an amount not to exceed $12,808,350 for the implementation of the Boardwalk Interactive Lighting Display Project.
The ACIA’s sub-tenant, Impactivate Network, Inc. is providing $20.8 million in private funding towards the project’s anticipated $33,608,350 total cost. The CRDA is providing $12.8 million in gap funding, which will be repaid from revenue generated by advertising, sponsorships and more.
“The CRDA’s unwavering commitment to Atlantic City’s “Clean and Safe” initiative is again demonstrated by this effort, which brings an integrated system of high resolution video cameras to the Boardwalk corridor and adjacent city streets,” said Lt. Col. Tom Gilbert, commander of the Atlantic City Tourism District. “Facilitating uninterrupted “real time” viewing access, the cameras will provide the Atlantic City Police Department (ACPD) with an invaluable layer of 24/7 vigilance as it safeguards the thousands of visitors that come each year to enjoy the iconic Boardwalk, beaches and attractions.”
The following elements are included in the project’s scope of work:
- installation of 164 LED marine-grade light pole fixtures fitted with a decorative theatrical “LED show” between Jackson and Vermont avenues
- procurement/installation of 72 pan-tilt-zoom security cameras, electrical conduit, meters and fiber optics that will be connected to the Atlantic City Police Department (ACPD) through 72 street end poles
- creation of a digital data storage center for operations of a surveillance/security camera network
- removal of 187 existing Victorian-style street lights, retrofitting to LED and relocating to needed areas throughout the city
- recycling of 41 existing aluminum cobra-head lamps and light post units along with any unsafe/unnecessary wiring
- installation of up to four state-of-the-art interactive components at City-approved locations; and 110 high-resolution outdoor LED matrix screens along the length of the Boardwalk that will display upcoming local events and provide free Wi-Fi internet access and mobile device charging stations.
“This exciting, state-of-the-art interactive program will be equipped to display important announcements, advertising, upcoming entertainment and events in the city, and will add to our visitor’s positive experience,” said CRDA Executive Director John Palmieri.
The Board also agreed to amend the public/private partnership agreement with the Atlantic City Alliance to provide $1.355 million in funding towards summer entertainment in 2015. This funding will enable free, live entertainment at Kennedy Plaza that will complement the CRDA’s Summer Concert Series on Tuesdays and the Chicken Bone Beach Jazz Concert Series on Thursdays, thus ensuring free, live entertainment on the Boardwalk six days a week this summer.
One million dollars of the approved $1.355 million will go towards helping fund two beach concerts this summer. The Alliance will also feature fireworks on the Fourth of July and $80,000 in approved funding will be available in the event of delays.
“This grant gives the Atlantic City Alliance funding for Boardwalk entertainment and beach concerts,” said Jeff Guaracino, executive director of the Atlantic City Alliance. “With it we are able to begin the work to pursue summer-long entertainment on the beach and Boardwalk, which includes potential acts/concerts at Kennedy Plaza and on the beach.”
The CRDA Board also approved $150,000 in funding to the Atlantic City Police Foundation to sponsor this summer’s Gardner’s Basin Free Summer Concert Series. These shows, tentatively scheduled for June 20, July 18 and August 22, will feature “old school” musical entertainers from the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Additionally, the Board entered into a unique, three-year dollar-for-dollar match challenge agreement with the Historic Organ Restoration Committee and would provide an amount not to exceed $1 million towards the committee’s Midmer Losh organ restoration efforts. The organ, which features more than 33,000 pipes of varying sizes that are built into the structure of Boardwalk Hall, is the largest pipe organ in the world.
“This instrument is a one-of-a-kind piece that is blessed with much historical significance,” said Palmieri. “The continued efforts to restore and preserve this Atlantic City treasure are truly a worthwhile undertaking and we are proud to take part in this agreement.”
In other Board actions, the Borgata Nightclub Expansion Project was approved for a fund reservation in an amount of $15 million, to be funded through Investment Alternative Tax funds. This project will feature a 24,000-square-foot outdoor entertainment venue complete with large and small outdoor stages, VIP areas, food and beverage kiosks or food trucks, outdoor bar, seating and game areas, BBQ and fire pits, restrooms and renovation of The Mixx night club into a large, modern, state-of-the-art entertainment venue. This project is expected to create approximately 147 construction jobs. Construction on the outdoor venue will be completed in time for its scheduled first event on June 13th while the night club expansion is scheduled for completion by New Year’s.
Lastly, the Board approved a fund reservation of $141,000 to Public Producers, in association with Riverview Studios, to produce a six-episode television series that will feature top-name performers that are performing in Atlantic City in a talk show format. These episodes will be filmed on location at Atlantic City hotels, casinos and along the Boardwalk, and will highlight Atlantic City’s natural scenic beauty and diverse amenities. Each episode will air a minimum of three times locally on NJTV Channel 23 and has the potential to reach five million households throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Board actions will take effect following the expiration of the Governor’s statutory review period.
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The only agency of its kind nationwide, the CRDA has used Atlantic City casino reinvestments as a catalyst for meaningful, positive improvement in the lives of New Jersey residents, investing nearly $2 billion in more than 400 projects statewide since 1984. Under the 2011 Tourism District Act, CRDA’s mission evolved from statewide projects to becoming the state’s key economic development agency for Atlantic City. CRDA responsibilities expanded to include land use regulation, clean and safe initiatives, tourism marketing, ownership and oversight of the Atlantic City Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall, and partnership with the Atlantic City Alliance to brand and market Atlantic City. The former ACCVA, now a division of CRDA, is the first destination marketing organization in New Jersey to achieve prestigious Destination Marketing Accreditation by the Destination Marketing Association International.
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