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May 15, 2015

Atlantic City welcome sign removed, 'giant loss' for city

A large sign welcoming visitors to Atlantic City on the Atlantic City Expressway was removed Tuesday for missing the proper permit, the Press of Atlantic City reports.

The sign was in violation of federal highway regulations, according to The South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA).

Sharon Gordon, the SJTA’s deputy executive director, claimed the sign was developed by the Atlantic City Alliance, but the alliance insisted it was not responsible for securing the permit because the sign pre-dated its creation. The marketing coalition created the “Do AC” tourism campaign in 2012.

The landmark sign had existed for years, even going through different iterations that reflected Atlantic City’s evolving tourism campaigns. At one point it read, “Atlantic City: Always Turned On,” a nod to the resort’s adult-oriented former marketing slogan. More recently, it proclaimed, “In one mile, you’ll be a million miles away,” a saying intended to portray Atlantic City as an exotic vacation retreat.

Jeff Guaracino, the alliance’s executive director, argues the removal of the sign will negatively affect tourism in the area.

“That is the only free billboard the city has access to on the Atlantic City Expressway,” he told the Press of Atlantic City. “It’s a giant loss for the city of Atlantic City.”

Read more from the Press of Atlantic City.