The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority will approve the Atlantic City Tourism District master plan tomorrow – and it’s expected to contain an initiative that calls on local businesses around the gaming establishments to remove their steel security doors – because they make tourists nervous.

Businesses that comply will qualify for CRDA grant money to make façade improvements.

Dr. Israel Posner , the Executive Director of the Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton College, says sometimes, it’s the little things that make the difference, so “if you make things look inviting in a small way, it builds momentum and makes an entire area more attractive and much more safe over time…if you take care of those small little things you start to build a momentum, because you get people who were avoiding that area now more likely to go into that area…it tends to push out the more uncomfortable and dangerous elements away from that area of the city.”

He says “it’s a question of building in small things one step at a time then creating momentum – which moves things in the right direction…it’s a question of doing one thing then another, then another, you can’t fundamentally change an urban landscape with the snap of a finger – it’s a question of doing all the little things right.”

At the same time Dr. Posner points out officials in Atlantic City understand how destructive it is to continually have stories about muggings and shootings on the radio and TV, “and you’ve got to create safety and security throughout the entire city – you can’t just separate the tourism district from the city…these are issues that have to be addressed.”

He also stresses “the master plan is not something that is carved in stone…it’s a starting point for the redevelopment of the tourism district – over time it will evolve.”