Mood Is Somber In Atlantic City Going Into Labor Day Weekend
By Cleve Bryan
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., (CBS) — The mood was less than festive outside the Mardi Gras themed Showboat Casino on Friday as it begins one last Labor Day Weekend.
“It’s a sad day here in Atlantic City,” says gambler Edward Smith, “I saw employees crying inside there.”
The Showboat will close Sunday followed by the Revel on Monday with the Trump Plaza slated to close in mid-September affecting nearly 6,000 workers.
“It’s a bummer I hate to see it go. It’s an awesome place, everybody here is so down to earth, very welcoming,” says Martin Watt, a Showboat bartender for the last three years.
Watt says he’ll be able to transfer jobs to another Caesar’s Entertainment property but not everyone is so fortunate.
Laura Gould’s husband hasn’t heard back about trying to get a new job in the company after working at Showboat for 18 years.
“It’s scary, it’s a scary time for my family,” says Gould with her two daughters at her side on the boardwalk.
As the unemployment rolls prepare for a sharp increase Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian spoke outside the Margaritaville restaurant holding a DO-AC sign that said “Don’t Stop Believing.”
“We’re still the Jersey Shore and we’re the urban center on the Jersey Shore but us as just a gambling casino town those days are gone,” says Guardian.
While remaining positive that Atlantic City is trying to grow non-gaming business Guardian says there no way to overlook the thousands of laid off workers.
“This is a time for everyone – faith-based organizations, union, government – all to come together so we can provide some immediate services and help for those people that are losing their jobs,” says Guardian.
On Wednesday there will be a resource center set up for laid off casino employees at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
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