Seeing as our presence was required at the Jersey Shore for the weekend, we made a point of popping by the Chelsea Hotel on Saturday to see how Atlantic City's newest and only non-gaming hotel was faring during its first full season. As you recall, our visit to the 5th Floor last summer led to some wild times, but the crowd was entirely bussed down from NYC, creating an "us vs. them" vibe between the Beatrice crew and the Shore rats that are looking for a serious party every weekend. As we predicted, that plan never really took off, so the Chelsea wisely threw that plan out the window, bringing in more Philly promoters, in association with the SKY Group from NYC, to try and liven the place up.
From what we saw, the plan is working. When we pulled up to the Chelsea at midnight on Saturday, there were close to 400 people struggling to get into the lobby of the hotel, hoping to get into the elevators to go to the 5th Floor. After bypassing the line and heading upstairs, we encountered another 100 people or so waiting to get into the Cabana Club and Lounge. The scene was a stark contrast to last summer: every cabana and seating area was filled, the lines at the bars were 3 deep, and everyone (DBTH included) was having a great time to the sounds of Nick Cohen. We even got to meet Arthur Kade! (More on that later)
Don't get us wrong, this was certainly a heavy Jersey and Philly mix, with more awkward haircuts and ensembles then we could keep track of. And a converted motel is certainly not equipped to handle these kinds of crowds, causing malaise for any hotel guest that simply wants to take an elevator back to their room at 11 PM. But the summer has been a smashing success for the Chelsea, as their dreams of creating a scene has come to fruition. The pool is a party scene from Friday through Sunday (afternoons are no longer for just sunning), the place was overrun with customers, and according to management, the revenues have been increasing every week. And that's what counts. So good for the Chelsea for getting it right the second time around, and good for us for stopping by.