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Atlantic City Crowd 'Catching The Vibe' As Alcohol Consumption Allowed On Boardwalk To Boost Business

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) -- Atlantic City is hoping a big change on the boardwalk will bring in the people and cash. It's like Prohibition has ended all over again in the city, kind of.

While the longtime ban on drinking on the boardwalk has been lifted, there are guidelines that must be followed.

It's Atlantic City's boardwalk with a shot of New Orleans' Bourbon Street.

"Oh, I'm all in. This is a great thing," one boardwalk stroller said.

"I think it's lovely. I'm grateful to get out the house finally," said Delaware resident Kurt Smith.

This week, Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. issued an executive order allowing open consumption of alcohol on the boardwalk. That order went into effect Friday and patrons were ready.

"Get in the car and get here as fast as we could," Sicklerville resident Michelle Black said.

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Inside of Loteria, between New York and Kentucky Avenues on the boardwalk, the staff was busy readying to-go food and cocktails.

"Now we are just making sure we are following all the procedures, everything is still sealed up, ready to go. It's labeled with our business on there so it's exciting," Loteria assistant manager Jason Rello said.

Under the ordinance, drinks can only be publicly consumed if in a plastic cup labeled by the licensed business where it was purchased. And any beverage over 16 ounces must come with the alcohol separate.

The hope is that the booze will bring a boost for businesses in a city where its key hospitality and casino attractions are still shut down.

"I'm not sure that it will bring more people down. It will definitely create a much more interesting environment," one boardwalk stroller said.

While it's too soon to gauge the true economic impact, the first night feeling was nothing short of festive.

"Life is so short right now and there's a lot of tension in the world and we just want happiness and it's a nice vibe. We're catching the vibe," Philadelphia resident Seglinda Harrison said.

Of course, social distancing is still encouraged.

Some people have expressed concern about COVID-19 transmission because of course, you can't take a sip of that drink with your mask on.

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