Break Out The Beach Balls: Atlantic City Casinos Celebrating Kickoff Of Summer 2021 Season

Written By Stephanie Loder on May 28, 2021
Atlantic City MDW

Memorial Day weekend in Atlantic City means music, entertainment, food, fireworks, and beach bars.

The Casino Association of New Jersey (CANJ) refers to it as the kickoff to the unofficial start to summer.

Yes, officially, the summer season doesn’t begin until June 20.

However,  Memorial Day weekend 2021 is generating some added buzz.

As it should.

Remember, this time last year, all nine properties were closed as a result of the global pandemic.

Now that Gov. Phil Murphy has lifted the capacity restrictions at New Jersey casinos and restaurants, things are much different.

Murphy’s announcement likely means there will be heavy traffic on the Atlantic City Expressway starting his afternoon.

Atlantic City casinos are ready to “safely welcome back more guests to the seaside resort destination.”

“Memorial Day not only kicks off the beginning of the summer season – it marks a return to normalcy, providing visitors the opportunity to get to enjoy a fun-filled, entertaining experience after an unprecedented year,” said Terry Glebocki, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey.

5 fun things to do at AC Casinos  Memorial Day weekend

1) Following a one-year hiatus, Resorts, Atlantic City’s oldest casino, is hosting its annual Beach Ball Drop today. However, for safety reasons, the event will be streamed live to the TVs on the casino floor at 5 pm.

2)  Ocean Casino Resort is getting the summer vibe going early despite what’s looking like a very unfavorable rainy forecast. The Cab­­­anas at Ocean are available starting this weekend. There are 13 cabanas, plush day beds, and cozy cocoon seats that overlook the Atlantic Ocean.

3) Fireworks are back! Tropicana Atlantic City is bringing back its free weekly Saturday night fireworks show starting on May 29. It will take place every week through Sept. 4 (excluding July 3) at 10 p.m.

4) Bally’s Atlantic City wasted little time getting Memorial Day weekend started as the property hosted a Friday morning ribbon-cutting ceremony at its Beach Bar. Now part of the Bally’s Corp. family, the casino hotel continues to introduce new offerings.

5) Hard Rock Atlantic City was the first AC casino o bring back live entertainment, and the schedule will be picking up this summer. Memorial Day weekend will be highlighted with two performances by comedian Andrew Santino at 7 pm and 10 pm on Sunday, May 30

Vaccines, health, and safety measures remain a priority

Ever since reopening last summer, casinos have found creative and innovative ways to offer a safe, entertaining experience for guests.

And the casino industry remains focused on the health and safety of employees and guests.

This includes partnering with regional healthcare provider AtlantiCare. The three Caesars Entertainment properties held or are holding vaccine clinics. They are open to employees and their families, as well as hotel guests and local residents.

The CANJ is supporting the state’s efforts to vaccinate 4.7 million adults by the end of June.

“We are hopeful that as more vaccines are distributed, we will be able to bring more people back to work, bring back more meetings and conventions, and attract even more visitors to our great city,” said Glebocki.

Getting the Atlantic City economy back on its feet

So the other big news is the casino floors are now approved to operate at 100% occupancy. This means fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear masks.

Plus, the restrictions on beverage consumption and indoor dining are done.

Up until recently, casinos and restaurants had been operating at between 25% and 50% capacity. And during that time, creative and innovative methods were used to offer a safe, entertaining experience.

Now with the prime summer season arriving, the focus is on turning around the economy.

“As we look ahead to summer 2021, the casino industry provides a unique attraction to our region that benefits all of the region’s surrounding businesses – small or large,” said Christina Renna, president & CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey.

“The start of summer and the return of events and activities across Atlantic City is not only a win for the city, but for the entire South Jersey economy. This momentum is a critical step forward as we begin to rebuild and recover from this devastating pandemic.”

Photo by AP/Wayne Parry
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Stephanie Loder

Stephanie Loder is a freelance writer for PlayNJ. She provides coverage of New Jersey's Atlantic City casinos while also focusing on the beach, boardwalk, and special gaming events. Prior to writing for PlayNJ, she covered Atlantic City government, breaking news, and casinos for The Press of Atlantic City in Pleasantville, N.J.

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