ATLANTIC CITY with Liberty ?(1854 ? 1904):
?Inventors, innovators, and trend-setters from all over the world thrived here. ? We had fastest trains, ?most spectacular? electric lights and amusements, most popular music, plays, and fashion.
Local business owners built the Boardwalk and leveled the sand dunes to give tourists a bug-free easy access to ocean views and breezes–without government funding or permits.
The old Chalfonte Hotel was demolished and replaced with a 10 story brick and steel skyscraper within nine months in 1903! ? Plans were filed in June. ? Demolition of old hotel began after Labor Day. ? ?New Hotel had grand opening the next July 4th Weekend!
Hotel and business owners dominated ?politics. ? ?There was no income tax or sales tax and property taxes were affordable. ? Public schools were so good that diplomats in Washington bought houses here so their kids could go to our high school.
There were no zoning laws until 1929. ? People turned their homes into hotels and restaurants for the summer until the made enough money to build a new home–or a new hotel and restaurant. ? Churches and synagogues were built next to saloons and gambling halls. ? And all of them were crowded. ? ? Fires were common with wooden buildings, coal heating, and gas lighting and often destroyed whole city blocks at a time. ? ? But everything was rebuilt within a year–with no “Emergency Management” grants.
Violent crime, poverty were almost non-existent. ? ?Freed black slaves from the south, ?poor laborers from Ireland and Italy, ? penniless Jews fleeing massacres in Russia found plenty of work, and most were comfortable if not wealthy within a few years. ?As a teenager, George Hamid did acrobatic tricks for tips on the beach by the Boardwalk at South Carolina Avenue. ? Within a few years, he owned his own circus, and before he was 50, he bought the Steel Pier so he would no longer have to travel.
ATLANTIC CITY with Big? Government (1964-2014):
The ??Mag-Lev? (magnetic levitation) developers built their 200 mph trains in Shanghai China. ? Steve Wynn’ built his biggest and most profitable casinos were built in China. ? ?Both tried to build these in Atlantic City first, but were turned off by our high taxes, ridiculous laws, ?and shakedown politics. ?
?High dunes with weeds and bugs block the sea breeze & view from the Boardwalk.
?Zoning, environmental laws designed so? nobody can comply without costly variances and waivers that take years to get.
?NJ casino owners, key employees are banned from saying or doing anything “political”–or that offends politicians (other than hiring political law firms and lobbyists). ??? Tropicana Casino owners lost their entire investment of more than a billion dollars when Casino Control Commission denied a routine casino license renewal, and proved that ?unions ?and career politicians run the government in Atlantic City. ? (This is NOT done in Nevada, where casino owners
High crime/poverty surround? tourist areas. Even casino garages not safe. ? Casino “reinvestment” tax money filled Atlantic City with low income housing.