Atlantic City Casino Reinvestment Funds to be Refocused

Matt Doherty (l.), the new head of the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority says he wants the agency to focus on smaller tourism developments in Atlantic City’s tourist district. He also called for the agency to become more responsive to the community.

The New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority welcomed a new executive director and deputy executive director who both said they want a new direction for the authority.

Matt Doherty, 44, and Marshall Spevak, 30, assumed their respective roles as executive director and deputy executive director.

Doherty, the former mayor of Belmar N.J., was appointed by Governor Phil Murphy to the $175,000-per-year position in March. Spevak, former chief of staff for Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo and John Armato, both of Atlantic County, was appointed in April to fill the role vacated by Doherty’s promotion, according to the Press of Atlantic City.

Doherty said his mission is to “spearhead development in the Tourism District” by working with smaller developers to invest in the city’s tourism district while also capitalizing on the momentum from larger projects—such as the opening of two new casinos and a Stockton University city campus.

He also called for the authority to be “more engaging with the community” and “more transparent in our operations as an organization here in the city.”

“After years of negative press—rightfully so—now is the time for us to really promote everything that’s happening in the city and bring in more private economic dollars to develop vacant land that are oceanfront, beach-block properties,” he said according to the Press.

Spevak added that the authority will actively work with city residents, businesses and civic groups to navigate the bureaucracy of developing projects in the city.

“We want to be responsive to the residents who live here in the Tourism District and to all the residents in the city,” Spevak said. “Now that I’m here, I’ve come to realize just the incredible amount of things that go on here. This is an important organization in the city. We really cover so much here. But I think we have a really good staff that’s on top of it.”

In another Atlantic City story, Hard Rock Atlantic City—which opened June 28—has also opened a new gas station and convenience store on its property, believed to the first time a casino has opened such a facility in the resort.

“Rocktane Gas & Wash” is outside the parking garage of the hotel, between Maryland and Virginia Avenue, and will be open 24-hours-a-day. The 16-pump gas station includes a 5,100 square-foot convenience store as well as an automated carwash, according to a press release.