By Syma Chowdhry
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (CBS) – With Memorial Day just weeks away, Atlantic City has transformed a local site that’s long been considered an eyesore using art.
“Locals have said, ‘Oh, thank God you’re doing something with that lot. We’ve looked at it vacant since 2006. And it just represents no forward movement,’” says Lance Fung, the curator of Artlantic, about a new $3 million project at the seven acre lot where the Sands Casino used to be.
Now, that empty lot is a park that’s acquiring greenery and art and will be ready for summer.
“[It diversifies] someone’s visit when they come to Atlantic City. Art is definitely an important factor,” Fung says.
On Monday, world-renowned artist Peter Hutchinson added his touch at the Artlantic site.
“Well, I hope the idea of art would attract people,” he said.
Officials hope so too, saying better scenery can rejuvenate the city.
“This was an opportunity to combine greening, sort of taking these unused lots until they are ready for economic development,” explains Liza Cartmell, the president of the Atlantic City Alliance.
And don’t forget about the marina…
“There is a wonderful walkway system. There are very few people familiar with it,” adds John Palmieri, the executive director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
The walkway between Harrah’s and the Golden Nugget will also exhibit 40 sculptures over the next four years. The first one will be added this summer.
“Some folks we spoke with said they would really appreciate more art in Atlantic City, especially on or around the boardwalk…something they can enjoy between other tourist attractions,” says Assemblyman Chris Brown.
“[It’s] something else to do, something else to look at besides shopping or gambling,” visitor Lori McLaughlin says.