Feature Photo courtesy of Deborah Robinson.

By Deborah Robinson | AC JosepH Media Guest Blogger

ATLANTIC CITY — What happened to Atlantic City? That is one of the most asked questions when you Google “Atlantic City.”

Among those questions were those like, “Is Atlantic City worth visiting?,” “Is it safe to go to Atlantic City?,” “Why is Atlantic City so poor?,” “What caused the downfall of Atlantic City?,” “How is Atlantic City now?” Those were also my questions when nearly three years ago, I was asked to consider moving my media company to Atlantic City and making America’s playground my home.

I gave it serious consideration. I came for two weeks to scour the land and consider if my company and I had something to offer the city.

I was excited when I first drove into Atlantic City to see casinos towering over the vast Atlantic Ocean. Such a welcoming contrast from the mountains, valleys, and dry land of Las Vegas from where I had come.

It was the spectacular view of Ocean Casino that drew me and where I made my first footprint in the sand. I took out my camera to document the moment I fell in love with Atlantic City. There was no need to see more. At first sight, I was all in.

But over the next two weeks when the night lights dimmed, the real Atlantic City emerged. I was surprised to see large plots of empty land, closed businesses, and dilapidated housing all over the city. I was perplexed by the rocky roads called Atlantic and Pacific Avenues.

And I was saddened by the juxtaposition of residential poverty amid a tourist industry that brings billions of dollars a year into the city. This Atlantic City was quite different from the one I first encountered at Ocean Casino. Maybe moving here was not a great idea after all.

But the entrepreneur in me became intrigued with the possibility of bringing to Atlantic City what I felt was missing. I started to see the city half full, not half empty, and I wanted to contribute my gifts and talents to help fill it up. I wanted to be a part of making Atlantic City great again.

I became impressed with the pride of its people and the richness of its diverse culture. I became enamored with the beauty of its sunrises, sunsets and glistening ocean views. I became intrigued by its history and hopeful for its future. This was it. I returned home to prepare for the move to Atlantic City.

Photo courtesy of Deborah Robinson.

The first thing I did when I arrived was to seal the deal and make Atlantic City my home. I put my stake in the ground and bought a piece of land in the city. Now as I work every day to build my businesses and create a profitable livelihood, the journalist in me still wants to know what happened here.

“What happened to Atlantic City?” Is this a surface question that not even Google can answer?

I know one thing for sure and this I know: Cities don’t just happen! They are made. Planned. Systematically crafted. Intentionally created. Nothing in Atlantic City just happened — nor is it just happening now.

Everything about the city was and is currently being planned. Systematically crafted. Intentionally created. Knowing this, the investigative journalist in me is determined to answer the real question that will answer all other questions. Not, “What happened to Atlantic City?,” but, “What is happening to Atlantic City?”

DEBORAH ROBINSON is an award-winning journalist, talk show host, author, producer, documentary filmmaker, and serial entrepreneur. Her strengths are investigative journalism, politics, spirituality, religion, and she has a niche for lifestyle interviews. She’s interviewed diverse newsmakers from David Duke to Louis Farrakhan and she’s sat one-on-one with celebrities and newsmakers from around the world.

Touted by former Arkansas Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee as the best journalist in the State of Arkansas, Deborah has contributed stories, research, and sources to all major news media including CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, the AP, and more.

Deborah is the CEO of emmmc (pronounced M.C.), an entertainment, media, marketing, & management company, and Founding Partner with QOF Capital, a qualified opportunity fund created to raise capital, manage, and operate businesses and properties in opportunity zones.

DEBORAH now brings her journalism and business experience full circle as Creator of Atlantic City Tours and Investigating AC. Her life’s passion and purpose are to seek and communicate truth through her work in the media. More including full bio at DeborahInterviews.com.

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