|By Jennifer Bogdan, The Press of Atlantic
City, Pleasantville, N.J.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Oct. 11, 2012--Atlantic City casinos saw an 11 percent increase in the number of rooms occupied this summer compared with last summer, according to data released Wednesday by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
Nearly 1.59 million room-nights were registered at the resort's 12 casinos in June, July and August. That marks an increase of 157,624 room-nights over summer 2011's 1.43 million room-nights.
A review of data from the state Division of Gaming Enforcement shows that the 1,588,091 room-nights is the greatest the resort has seen since at least 2006, the earliest year for which data are available at the DGE's website. The DGE, however, measures those statistics in quarters that do not correspond to the data released by the CRDA. In DGE data, June falls into the second quarter, while July and August are part of the third quarter.
The closest Atlantic City has come to approaching 1.59 million room-nights was in the third quarter of 2009, when 1,472,178 rooms were occupied.
The $2.4 billion megaresort Revel opened in April, adding nearly 1,500 rooms per night to the market for a total of nearly 1.7 million room-nights available during the summer months. The data released Wednesday show that the resort was at nearly 94 percent occupancy in the summer months, just as it was in 2011.
"Maintaining this occupancy level shows strong demand for Atlantic City," Tropicana President and CEO Tony Rodio said Wednesday. Rodio is also president of the Casino Association of New Jersey, a trade group that represents Atlantic City casinos.
"The industry wants more people to sleep over, to stay longer and to come back frequently as we look to build our visitation and to increase revenue," he said.
Meanwhile, data released Wednesday by the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority also show increases. Eight events were booked at the Atlantic City Convention Center in September, an increase over seven the previous year. Those eight events brought in significantly more people, as the number of room-nights generated from the events increased by 56 percent, and spending by those individuals increased by 66 percent to more than $7.5 million.
"As we approach the busy convention season, we anticipate an even larger increase in people coming to town and spreading their valuable dollars to businesses throughout the city," ACCVA President Jeff Vasser said in a written statement Wednesday.
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