Source: Matt Kempner, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta’s nightlife has a problem: It’s skimpy.
At least that’s the message from a state senator who also heads the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, 25 miles deep into the ‘burbs.
“There’s not a lot to do here” at night, State Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, told me. And he says it’s limiting our downtown Atlanta convention business.
My gut reaction to this blasphemous statement was denial.
First, President Trump rips on Atlanta and now one of our own does, too?
But is Beach right? What about if you squint your eyes, put on blinders to a bunch of stuff, pretend you’re an out of town conventioneer and define Atlanta as only a very few square blocks?
Pate said the ACVB would market a casino to visitors, if one came here, but he predicts gaming itself wouldn’t significantly increase visits or conventions because so many other places already have casinos.
Dykstra, of ConferenceDirect, told me meeting planners generally aren’t drawn by casinos and that some event organizers will steer clear of a place like Vegas (a big convention town) specifically because of the gambling.
“I have to chuckle about the idea,” said A.J. Robinson, the president of Central Atlanta Progress. (Chuckling sounds like the ultimate dis, doesn’t it?)
The downtown booster group has yet to take a stance on casinos but it published an analysis questioning some purported benefits, like the idea that casinos would increase tourism.
Which is all the more reason to question what kind of a party animal we’d really be getting with casinos.