ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey (AP) -- Atlantic City is trying to make its tourism-centered economy less dependent on gambling after losing four of its 12 casinos.
The City Council is expected Wednesday night to approve an expansion of the iconic Steel Pier to make way for an already-approved 205-foot-tall (62 meters) observation wheel with enclosed, climate-controlled cars, and a zip-line ride.
It's also due to approve a redevelopment plan for the Northeast Inlet neighborhood including new eateries, entertainment and recreational facilities, a rebuilt Boardwalk and an elevated walkway to bring new business to the area.
The city has been talking about doing this since 2007 -- the first year its casino gambling revenues posted a yearly decline due to the opening of casinos in neighboring Pennsylvania that ate into its customer base.
Those revenues have plunged from $5.2 billion in 2006 to $2.74 billion last year as casinos continued to open in Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland. Of the eight Atlantic City casinos that survived 2014's slew of closings, three are in bankruptcy.
The wheel and its 40 cars are being built in Italy, and should be delivered to Atlantic City by December.
Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC