LIGHT Surveys Show Trends for Atlantic City

atlantic city skyline

Galloway, N.J.  _ Atlantic City would benefit from a coordinated marketing plan and events that can attract more and younger visitors and emphasize the assets of the city including casinos, beaches and restaurants, according to the results of three recent surveys produced by the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT) at the Stockton University School of Business.

The survey results indicated most visitors to the resort are ages 40 and older. Younger visitors are interested in the city but are more likely to visit for a specific event or activity and are influenced by recommendations from their peers and the media.

“While they were separate surveys, there are similar topics and results among all three that indicate trends and opportunities for the resort moving forward,” said LIGHT Assistant Director Sarah Grady, who coordinated the studies.

The complete surveys are on the LIGHT website at

The three surveys are:

  • Atlantic City Lifestyle Tourism survey produced by LIGHT in partnership with the Casino Reinvestment Development Association (CRDA) and Masterpiece Advertising.
  • The Atlantic City Restaurant Week 2021 Report, commissioned by the CRDA and the Atlantic City Restaurant Week Committee.
  • The Atlantic City Stakeholder Report, which included responses from industry and community leaders, was produced in partnership with the CRDA and Masterpiece Advertising.

Key findings from each survey show:

  • 82% of respondents were satisfied with their most recent visit to Atlantic City with 7% dissatisfied with their visit. Dissatisfaction was largely due to pandemic related or induced changes in service or amenities.
  • Travel group interests were less important than affordability and deals and promotions to respondents choosing a travel destination.
  • Younger respondents were more likely to rate the recommendations of peers and the media as important in making travel decisions than their older counterparts
  • Specific events and activities, and variety of activities at a destination were more important in the travel decision making process of younger respondents (older Gen Z and Millennials) than their older counter parts (Baby Boomers and Post War/WWII).

 Atlantic City Restaurant Week

  • Six out of 10 respondents were returning Restaurant Week patrons.
  • 35% of respondents who were first-time patrons heard about Restaurant Week from social media
  • Three quarters of respondents indicated that Restaurant Week factored into their decision to visit the resort.
  • Nearly half of respondents indicated that they were of the Baby Boomer generation (age 56-75)
  • 17% of respondents traveled more than 50 miles to attend Restaurant Week
  • 54% of respondents were from Atlantic County, 89% from New Jersey.
  • Among Restaurant Week patrons who were not residents of Atlantic City, 3 out of 10 said they were staying in the Atlantic City area overnight.
  • 62% of respondents rated Restaurant Week 5 out of 5 for value.
  • 86% of 2021 respondents said they would return in 2022. 

The Atlantic City Stakeholder Report

  • Stakeholders cited the city’s casinos, beach and boardwalk as strengths of the resort as well as its proximity to major population centers
  • The city’s art, music, culture, entertainment and dining offerings were also seen as important strengths.
  • Stakeholders cited condition of the city and its public reputation as weaknesses of the resort.
  • Quality of life issues and limited public transportation options were also identified as weaknesses.
  • Respondents wanted to see a more diversified, multi-cultural and multi-generational tourism product for Atlantic City.
  • Regional competition, gaming and non-gaming, was seen as a threat to the resort, in addition to the resort’s weaknesses.
  • 3% of respondents Strongly Agree that the city’s marketing resources are insufficient.
  • 8% of respondents Strongly Agree that Atlantic City needs a compellingly vibrant (i.e. “reimagined”) brand image
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Diane D’Amico
Director of News and Media Relations
Galloway, N.J. 08205