Just when you thought it was time to hunker down and dump your disposable income under the mattress, three Atlantic City casinos are hoping you might choose to hop on their southward-bound Polar Express.
Starting Feb. 6, and running Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the Atlantic City Express train service (ACES) will begin operating out of Penn Station, and for $50 will get you right to Atlantic City in a little over two and a half hours.
According to City Room, "The Borgata, Caesars Atlantic City, and Harrah's Resort Atlantic City spent $19.5 million outfitting two trains with four rail cars each." And while there won't be any onboard casino games, the train will have other bonuses "like waiters in the first-class section on the top level of the bi-level cars."
And in fact, those bi-level cars bring about a two-class system for travelers headed south (and eventually, north). The top level promises private service, extra leg room, and leather seats larger than those in coach.
The others downstairs will be left to fend for themselves at self-serve "kiosks", naturally stocked with alcoholic options. Booze vending machines, if you will.
But that's not so bad - imagine a split screen of business execs up top and rowdy young professionals down low, all drunkenly careening towards Atlantic City. In the rearview mirror, if these trains even have such a thing, you look back and see the Big Apple, teetering on the edge of a total financial apocalypse.
But, just before it slides, turn back around, and there ahead lies every man's shot at fame and fortune, or, a headache and a busted wallet. And if that's the case, how the heck do you get home?
Do you throw your last $50 on red, or hold out and wait for ACES to pick you up? It's a tough call, so I asked an ACES rep what she'd do, and she said, "We actually do encourage purchasing round-trip tickets since it is only weekend departures." So, $100 for a weekend's transportation to Tiny Vegas. Not too bad at all.
For more: ACES Train Service (now live)