A mermaid themed chandelier in the Boardwalk Lobby of the AC Convention Hall, taken on my iPhone during setbreak last Saturday.
Editorial in the Press of Atlantic City, "Noncasino revenue / A.C.'s growth area" (11/4/10)
Atlantic City casino revenues are down again this month ...
Gaming revenues at Atlantic City casinos dropped again ...
Atlantic City casinos took another hit ...
For years, headlines like these - driven by monthly casino-revenue figures - have been unrelenting: The amount of gambling money Atlantic City casinos take in has continued to slide.
But the problem is, too few people have been looking at all the numbers. The focus on the monthly casino take has overshadowed a bright spot that Atlantic City needs to focus on.
Yes, fewer people are coming to Atlantic City, but they are spending more money on nongaming activities such as hotel rooms, meals and entertainment, according to a study by Spectrum Gaming of Linwood. The amount of money lost gambling in Atlantic City fell 23 percent since 2007, but spending on hotel rooms is up 21 percent and food and drink is up 6 percent, Spectrum found.
Many casinos have been decreasing comps. Yet people are still spending - and spending more, even in these tough times - to stay, dine and be entertained in Atlantic City.
What does that mean? First, it means the resort is clearly on the right track with the kinds of events it hosted last weekend. The wildly popular Phish concerts completely sold out 14,100 seats for three nights at Boardwalk Hall. That's 42,300 tickets. Many of those fans stayed in the casino hotels, ate at restaurants, shopped at stores and visited nightclubs. The same weekend, Harrah's Entertainment's "Out in A.C." event reached out to the lucrative gay tourism market, while Bally's Atlantic City hosted more traditional Atlantic City entertainment Saturday night - a boxing match.
These are the kinds of weekends that need to happen more often. Sure, some of the people who packed the city gambled. But that's not what brought them to Atlantic City. That's not what will keep them coming.
And Atlantic City's future growth area probably won't be gambling.
"We're still the second-biggest gaming market in the country, but when you lose a billion dollars of revenue that's not coming back, you have to change your business model," said Don Marrandino, Harrah's Eastern Division president.
Reader Daniel Halloway, responding to an article "Phish concert provides a heavy assortment of drugs" by Bob Holt on newjerseynewsroom.com, discussing drug arrest statistics in Atlantic City (and restricting its discussion of the entire weekend and three
I'm not a phish fan, in fact I'd never listened to their music before this weekend. Let me say that I have never met a more friendly, excited and happy group of people in Atlantic City than the phish fans. I thought their positivity was infectious. They were a joy to be around while I was there and I would welcome them back in a heartbeat. If what this article says is true, I never saw the tiniest hint.
In an Artsblog post, Annie Burkhart writes, "Phish has a fanatic following, so much so that it’s normal for tickets to sell out three minutes after they go on sale. The possibilities to mobilize the massive community are awesome, and that is just what the founders ofThe Mockingbird Foundation have done. A foundation organized by Phish fans, The Mockingbird Foundation, funds music education programs for children, especially in communities touched by Phish tours. This past weekend, the foundation donated $1000 for instruments to the Atlantic City High School. It’s their mission to grant access to music, but they strongly support programs that integrate student interaction with music. Music is a Phish fan’s fuel; it would be silly to keep it confined to music halls and venues.
Even though we get really pumped over songs with lyrics about running antelopes and possums, we do what we can to spread the groove into communities, and I couldn’t be happier to be a morsel of that culture."
Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter blog (11/2/10).
You see every Halloween Phish plays an entire classic album. And rumor was it was gonna be Zeppelin, so the Phearless Phoursome dropped some classic Zep into their set the night before, the 30th. But on the holiday, the album they covered was WAITING FOR COLUMBUS!
I bet most of you have never heard of this double live album, when two vinyl discs didn’t even add up to the length of one CD.
What do you do when you don’t break through? RECORD YOUR GREATEST HITS!
Well, Little Feat only had one. But they had all that great music in their catalog that so many people had never heard. And they were big in England. And if you think "Waiting For Columbus" took hold in America, you’re rewriting history. Sure, dedicated music fans now knew who the band was, but still most people knew no tracks. Although as years passed, "Dixie Chicken" became a standard. That’s what perseverance will do for you. Concentrate on cutting something great, not what people want, and you might end up with a cut that lasts, one that truly strikes a chord.
Still, it’s not like Little Feat is the Doors, there’s been no mass renaissance. So it’s utterly AMAZING that Phish played this live album in its entirety Sunday night.
But it’s even better than that. They even employed a horn section, just like the original band, featuring Michael Leonhart of Steely Dan’s band. This was no casual effort, this was a tribute to their forgotten heroes, this was musicians who had to get it RIGHT!"
Phamily Classic, benefitting the Mockingbird Foundation
ZZYZX ponders his next move as the Phamily Classic Poker Tournament gets underway in Atlantic City at the Tropicana Casino today
The current Weekend Poker Update for Atlantic City's Real Deal includes the Mockingbird Foundation's own Phamily Classic among the events to witness, and notes both that it's sold out and that it's for charity.
Statement from Billy, Jerry, Phil, Mickey, Bobby, Vince [The Grateful Dead; c. 7/2/95]
If you don't have a ticket, don't come. This is real. This is first a music concert, not a free-for-all party. ... Many of the people without tickets have no responsibility or obligation to our scene. They don't give a shit. They act like idiots. They think it's just a party to get as trashed as possible at. We're supposed to be about higher consciousness, not drunken stupidity. ... They can only get away with this crap if you let them. The old slogan is true: if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. ... Listen to the rules, and pressure others to do so.
OK, so maybe I got carried away with the black plague warning with infected prairie dogs for Broomfield, but good authority has it that bedbugs are a problem in AC, even at the Boardwalk hotels:
----- Forwarded Message ----
To: some list
Sent: Thu, October 28, 2010 9:53:07 AM
Subject: BED BUG REMINDER FOR A/C
PLEASE INSPECT YOUR ROOMS FOR BED BUGS IN A/C.
A/C has had major bed bug problems for a few years and the Tropicana (where a ton of us are staying) is loaded with them according to Bed Bug Registry. Most A/C hotels have bed bug problems -- including the Trump, Taj and even the Borgata.The little fuckers hitch rides on the casino buses that take people from urban, bed bug infested areas of Philly, NYC, etc. My guess is the Chinatown A/C bus is probably driven by a giant bed bug in disguise. Combine that with the fact that Atlantic City residents have major bed bug issues, and it's the bed bug perfect storm.
I don't give a shit about you taking home bedbugs. However, I don't want any bedbugs hitching a ride on me after hanging in your rooms once I've certified my room bedbug free.
Here are two articles:
1) Put your luggage in the bathtub while you inspect.
2) Don't leave your cloths or bags on the ground or bed. Keep shit on dressers, hung up, on luggage racks or in drawers. DO THIS FOR THE ENTIRE TRIP!
Seriously, I fear bedbugs more than I fear Republicans. Don't take this lightly.
Last night, we rolled out a brand new, baked-from-scratch Phish.net mobile site. You can access the Phish.net mobile at m.phish.net.
Why did we upgrade our mobile site?
I want to take a moment to address something as well. As many of our regular visitors know, we've had some problems over the last week with server stability. Rest assured, we are working very hard on fixing those issues. The reality is, our traffic has grown significantly with this tour, so much so that it caught us by surprise. We're working with our host to allocate the appropriate resources and better optimize our equipment to scale for peak demand. We take our job as the core Phish data warehouse seriously, and we want you to know that your data is safe and we hope to continue to grow and cement ourselves as the most officialunofficial place for Phish information.
Be careful out there pholks, especially driving home from shows. It's happened before (why the summer festivals after the Went let people stay on site an extra day before driving), and it happened again after Sunday's show:
According to an article today in the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle:
"Five Ontario County teens were injured, one seriously, in a rollover crash on the New York state Thruway yesterday morning.
New York State Police Sgt Robert Simon said the teens were on their way home from a Phish concert in Massachusetts when the driver, Nathan A. Hart, 19, of Farmington, fell asleep at the wheel about 10:35 a.m.
Hart was westbound when his vehicle drove off the north shoulder, near mile marker 314 in Tyre, Seneca County, Simon said. Hart attempted to move back onto the highway, but the van overturned several times.
Two male passengers from Farmington — a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old — were thrown from the van. The 17-year-old was taken to University Hospital in Syracuse via Mercy Flight and was listed in fair condition today, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
Page, in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/25/92
It's the information age, these days. And the Phish.net has really changed the face of the band, because anytime anything happens that's out of the ordinary -- which is practically every Phish concert -- everybody on the network knows about it the next night. We recently premiered six songs -- songs that didn't make our new album -- in the first gig of this tour. A bunch of people taped the show. That night, people put the descriptions of those new songs on the Phish.net -- and [information on] how you could get a copy of the tape. So within days, you've got tapes of these new songs all over the country, which is exactly what we'd want. That way, when we go out on this national tour, people are going to have heard of the new songs, and even heard tapes of the new songs, before we get to the different towns.
Amid a scandal that has shaken the Mockingbird Foundation to its very core, the charitable foundation announced today that that it has severed all ties with its now former Executive Director, Ellis Godard. The controversy began in the late evening hours of October 24, 2010. The second set of Phish’s show at the Mullins Center in Amhearst, MA was winding down and literally tens of users were glued to the setlist on phish.net. Godard was on setlist duty when the Phish world appeared to come to a standstill. Either that or the band launched into a 30 minute “Free.” And just when it appeared Godard had simply abandoned his responsibilities to the Phish community things got worse. With one simple keystroke, Godard claimed that Phish had played “You Enjoy Myself.” The error was mockingly tweeted across the internets and even memorialized on awesomescreenshot.com. With that unparalleled combination of negligence and malfeasance, Godard tore Mockingbird’s credibility to smithereens.
The truth is that Godard’s dismissal is yet another in a series of drastic changes to the Mockingbird’s Phish.Net platform. Scarcely a year ago, setlists were being transmitted to Phish.net through a loose affiliation of unemployed fanboys jotting down notes at the shows and the occasional carrier pigeon. Setlists would appear on the site anywhere from twelve hours to twelve days after the show. Enter technology guru Adam Scheinberg. “I was working on a script to send hourly emails to Trey requesting he play ‘Camel Walk’ at every show on the ’09 Summer Tour, when I realized my skills could be put to better use,” recalled Scheinberg. Scheinberg continued, “Ellis was running a pretty ragtag operation, but it did manage to pull together over $500,000 in directed grants to music education for children. So it was clear he wasn’t a complete shit-for-brains.”
Scheinberg transformed Phish.Net into a ruthlessly efficient operation. He would create a database documenting every time each song in the Phish catalog was played. Song histories were added to the site for every song Phish has played. And setlists were posted to the site in real-time. Sometimes before the band even knew what they were playing. In discussing the changes, Scheinberg explained that he made the setlist entry system “so simple, even a trained monkey could use it.”
But none of that helped Godard last night. Reporters from Hidden Track and Jambands.com were waiting for Godard outside his home this morning shoving assorted Schoeps and Sennheiser microphones in his face and demanding an answer. But answers didn’t come. Longtime fan David “Zzyzx” Steinberg reports that Godard simply hemmed and hawed about it being some sort of sociological experiment before muttering “Wanton in a key I live and me for horse rent.” At that point, Godard fled the scene. According to Steinberg, “the whole thing went on for precisely sixteen minutes and forty-three seconds, which is longer than roughly 97.6% of Phish 3.0 jams.”
Count Charlie Dirksen among Godard’s disappointed colleagues. “I’ve known Ellis for over fifteen years,” Dirksen said, “and I really thought he knew something about the Phish from Vermont. But I was wrong. Even more wrong than I was about that ‘Fire on the Mountain’ tease on 12/31/95. But at least I’m admitting it this time.”
This gaffe was simply the last straw in the odd descent of this once respected uber-phan. In recent days, Godard was reported to have claimed that he wouldn’t recognize the song “Alaska,” even “if Trey sang it to me on my lap.” However, those reports could not be substantiated. The Mockingbird Foundation will appoint a new executive director in the coming days. Scheinberg is said to be writing a script that will not only choose the new leader, but actually cause a white plume of smoke to be emitted from Nectar’s.
Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.
This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.
The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Phish fans in 1996 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community.
And since we're entirely volunteer – with no office, salaries, or paid staff – administrative costs are less than 2% of revenues! So far, we've distributed over $1,000,000 to support music education for children – hundreds of grants in all 50 states, with more on the way.