By Paul Kurtz

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — The future of the City of Atlantic City was the subject today of a New Jersey Assembly committee hearing.

The legislative Tourism and Arts Committee traveled to Atlantic City to hear from travel and tourism experts, local residents, and gaming officials on ways to boost tourism there.

Izzy Posner, executive director of the Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism at Stockton College, says the focus today was on non-gambling attractions and on diversifying the city’s tourism base — and with good reason: Atlantic City has seen its tourism base erode in recent years as out-of-town casino competition has increased.

“Atlantic City was basically a casino monopoly east of the Mississippi for about 25 years,” Posner tells KYW Newsradio.  “That era, I believe, was an anomaly.  Atlantic City was always a tourism destination since the early part of the 20th century, and I think what we’re seeing now is… it’s almost a ‘Back to the Future.’ ”

The current $30-million campaign to promote the resort is indicative of that needed focus on its non-gaming attractions.