Vegas East

Jersey's dowdy seaside gambling mecca is making a play for shops and fine dining. Sound familiar?

Like many before him, Sheldon Gordon came to Atlantic City, N.J., confident that he would win big. Standing on a glass walkway between his new beachfront shopping mall and Caesars casino, he surveys a boardwalk full of people on a humid June afternoon and says, "There's no mall in America that has this amount of traffic on a Monday." If he were playing poker, Gordon's face would be a dead giveaway: he is obviously quite happy with his hand. At the end of the walkway is the Pier, a $210 million green glass complex holding 90 shops, 10 restaurants, two nightclubs,...

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