By John Ostapkovich

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — With three Atlantic City casinos due to close within weeks, officials from the resort town are highlighting what has gone right there.

The closings represent a major setback, certainly for those who have lost their jobs, but officials used a teleconference this morning to lay out a bigger — and prettier — picture.

“This is a milestone moment in Atlantic City, one in which consolidation in the casino industry must make way for new opportunities,” said mayor Donald Guardian.

With the spread of gambling to other states, Atlantic City has been moving for years to broaden its appeal with non-casino attractions, such as Margaritaville, open now, and a big Bass Pro Shop, just ahead.

Mark Giannantonio, president and CEO of Resorts, says investment in the place paid off.

“Our earnings were up about 244 percent from the prior year’s second quarter, to just under $2 million, where it was a loss of $1.3 million.  And I can tell you right now that we are having the best summer in about a decade,” he said.

AC aims to attract conventions with its unique mix of positives, of which casinos are now just one of many.


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