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Sequester Cuts Change Atlantic City Airshow

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By Robin Rieger

ATLANTIC CITY (CBS) – One of the main attractions of Atlantic City’s airshow that always thrills spectators is a United States Military team demonstration. Whether it’s the Air Force Thunderbirds, the Army Golden Knights parachute team, or the Navy’s Blue Angels, this year sequester cuts in Washington have them grounded.

“As recently as Tuesday this week we heard from the Golden Knights organization. They’re not able to make the show,” said Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce President Joe Kelly.

Kelly says while other independent acts are now being considered, he thinks the show will still draw big crowds similar to the 900,000 here last August.

This year’s airshow will take place June 26 amid a week of planned activities designed to kick off the summer season post-Superstorm Sandy.

“We’re optimistic that it will be received well from the audience,” said Kelly.

“I would have been disappointed if there was no airshow,” said Victor Nappen of Atlantic City Linen Supply. He says his business cleaning casinos and restaurants linens counts on a boost from the show.

“The hospitality industry is vital to us and anything that brings more additional guests here is welcome,” said Nappen.

“Private acts are probably good but I think the military part of the show will be missed, but I will still come,” said Yvette Clement of the Bronx, NY.

John Exadaktilos owns the Duck Town Tavern and says while some might be disappointed the military acts will be missing, the show will still fly.

“It’s two days of fun, you have the pre-airshow, then you have the air show itself. You have activities on boardwalk and beach,” said Exadaktilos.

Kelly says he doesn’t know if the show will cost more with additional commercial acts since much of the million dollar cost is done in trade.

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