Hope Wissel

Life in Atlantic City

Excitement.  Glitz and Glamour. Celebrities. Gambling. Partying.  

These were the words that came to mind in the early years of Atlantic City.  When I started working for the Claridge Casino Hotel, we were a Del Webb property with no walls and offices in a motel that at best is now a little shady   It was exciting to be on the ground floor working with Vegas Executives opening a casino hotel.  Commuting from Ocean Grove definitely had me living in two worlds – reality and illusions.  I helped to write the submission for the Division of Gaming Enforcement so that the casino could open – lots of paperwork and lots of rules.

As opening came near, we began hiring employees which is when my aunt, Elsie Weston, joined the security team. We were ships passing in the night from Ocean Grove because she worked 2nd shift and I was days.  The opening came and went with the day to day operations being some what mundane. As the youngest female security supervisor Del Webb ever had, it was a constant struggle to prove myself.  The November after we opened, there was a shift in management and the 3 youngest Security Supervisors were terminated due to a restructuring of our positions.  I was devastated and finding work in the casinos was tough for me.  See opening a casino is much different than actually working the floor in one. So without a new casino opening, I would resort to finding work in an office at half the salary and with a totally different way of life.  I wasn’t sure what to do at a 9 – 5pm, Monday to Friday job after being in a 24/7 business for so long.  I longed to get back into AC but not in a casino.

I began volunteering with the local Crime Stoppers and as a result helped to put together their National Conference in Atlantic City.  It was exciting for me to be back in the 24/7 life.  Adele Black, Sales Manager of the then Deauville Hotel was the hotel contact that later offered me a job.  I was back in AC working in the Sales Department.  Booking casino bus trips, greeting buses, booking conferences and now looking for a new way to get back into the casino but in the sales departments.  Another phase in my “previous life” began in hotel/ casino sales.  I ended up back at the Claridge for a short period of time working in Hotel Sales but left to help Adele open her own business – Atlantic City Hotel Reservations Center.  It was this transition that changed my life – it was during this time that my addictions would surface and I began to live the 24/7 fantasy life of Atlantic City.

I am sure that some are wondering why I am sharing all of this – who cares, right?  Well, I hope that some of the trials that I share during my Saturday personal stories will touch someone’s heart and help them.  See, the path I am on today is a blessing from God that I truly believe was laid out long ago.  The problem was that I got in the way and lost sight of his will while I was putting other things before him.  So as doors closed, windows of opportunities opened – some I grabbed, others I didn’t and those I did grab were for the wrong reasons.  Learn from your past for it will help you to shape your future.  Change is possible if you are willing to forgive yourself for those mistakes and move on.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!  


7 thoughts on “Life in Atlantic City”

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