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by Lisa A. Grimaldi | February 02, 2011

Yesterday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed bill  S-11, authorizing the creation of a tourism district within Atlantic City, to be administered by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. Within the district, the CRDA will be authorized to establish land-use regulations, implement a master plan, promote public-health and safety initiatives, advance commercial development, undertake redevelopment projects and institute infrastructure improvements. The bill also provides for the merger of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority into the CRDA. Also, the CRDA will enter into a public-private partnership with a nonprofit organization consisting of a majority of New Jersey casino licensees, through which they will commit funds totaling $30 million annually for the development and implementation of a marketing program aimed at promoting Atlantic City. "The challenges faced today by the Atlantic City tourism and gaming industries have been a long time in the making, and significant steps are needed to stop the decline and set a new course of economic growth, job creation and return Atlantic City to the ranks of the best destinations in the world. But it can and must be done for the economic health of New Jersey as a whole," said Gov. Christie.