Governor stressed appointee John Palmieri’s redevelopment experience a key credential in helping to restore Atlantic City as a destination and convention resort.
ATLANTIC CITY — At a press conference Wednesday, Sept. 7, at Boardwalk Hall, Gov. Chris Christie formerly introduced John F. Palmieri as the new director of the New Jersey State Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA).
The New Jersey native is the former director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority and also led previous redevelopment efforts in Hartford, Conn., Charlotte, N.C., and Providence, R.I. Palmieri takes over the position from interim CRDA director Susan Ney-Thompson, who will return to her position as deputy CRDA director.
Christie emphasized that Palmieri’s appointment will help accomplish his administration’s agenda of restoring the resort’s economy. As director of the CRDA, much of Palmieri’s responsibilities will be overseeing the newly formed Tourism District in Atlantic City.
“This administration is deeply committed to making greater progress on the reform agenda we’ve laid out to turn around Atlantic City’s gaming and tourism economy, make it a premier destination resort, and strengthen its role as an engine of economic growth and job creation for the state and region,” says Christie. “Over the past year, the Hanson Commission Report [the governor’s advisory commission on gaming] has provided us with a framework to focus our work on job creation, capital investment and regulatory reform.
“The momentum is with us to bring job creation, growth and hope back to Atlantic City and the region,” adds Christie. “Every day we are making progress to secure the growth, investment and success of Atlantic City’s gaming and tourism industries and I am pleased that John Palmieri will be there to provide leadership in that effort.”
Christie added that he chose Palmieri because he has the right combination of experience and development know-how.
“I really wanted someone who could bring their expertise and their bearing, who would be able to impress people that he’s someone who should be listened to. That’s what impressed me most about John,” says Christie.
From left, Susan Ney-Thompson, John Palmieri, Gov. Chris Christie. Photos by Lew Steiner.
The Associated Press played up the fact that during the press conference, the governor implied that going to Las Vegas in the summertime is “stupid,” and that vacationers should instead opt for traveling to Atlantic City.
“There is no reason people should go to Las Vegas in the summer,” Christie said. “Why would you go to the middle of the desert in the summer? You’d have to be stupid to do that. Come to Atlantic City, where there’s a beautiful beach, gamble if you want to.”