By: Tim Baines
An Atlantic City company has come up with quite a spin on your next golf vacation, with a bit of edginess and a lot of sauciness.
You can book golf, eat at fine restaurants, get unprecedented access to nightclubs … oh, and you can also get a stretch limo, a stripper bus, entrance to prime strip clubs and have a private dancer in your room.
At www.AtlanticCityGolfAfterDark.com, it’s one-stop shopping – sounding every bit like an awesome getaway.
It’s all above board, no shenanigans permitted. And the guy who who’s behind the idea, Mike Charlton, managing partner of GolfAC.com, is confident this will appeal to a segment of the golf crowd, especially the younger ones.
“I have an established golf vacation business. And I have a bachelor party business,” he said. “It’s like chocolate and peanut butter. Next thing you know, you’ve got a Reese’s peanut butter cup.
“It’s great – the possibility of creating a hybrid between your basic golf vacation with all the amenities of a bachelor party. It’s a good time. Guys come in here and have a ball. It’s a guys’ getaway site as much as it is a golf vacation site.”
Charlton said he got real interested in the concept following a conversation with GOLF magazine’s Tom Perlozzo.
“Tom told me the No. 1 question he was asked by golfers was: ‘Do they have any strip clubs?’ I’m like, ‘Wow, I like to hear that. It’s not offered to people.’ We’re Atlantic City. That’s part of what you expect when you come here if you’re a young guy. You can add some spice to your average golf vacation.”
For many years, Atlantic City got the bulk of its tourism dollars from a highly visible casino scene. That has changed. Golf has joined other attractions to make Atlantic City vibrant and a great destination.
Charlton said while he wrestled with the idea, wondering whether there would be negative pushback, he’s been getting positive vibes.
“There’s nothing illegal at all,” he said. “There’s no funny business. It’s just a fun time. We’re not out to replace the traditional golf vacation company. I had some concerns. I didn’t know if this flies in the face of golf respectability. But we’re known for all these types of things. We’re an edgy adult vacation place. It would be hypocritical (if we said there was something wrong with a bachelor party-golf type of package). It’s just a niche type of thing. Maybe we get more people calling and doing golf vacations.”
More than two years ago, Charlton started adding items golfers could arrange through the golf vacation website – things like booking restaurants became a popular add-on. You can go on the website, add on things you’re interested in and get an instant quote, adjusting it to fit your budget.
“We wanted to experiment with bachelor parties,” said Charlton. “We realized people were totally ill prepared. Being the best man doesn’t make someone a professional trip planner. You can create a package. You can be front of the line to Bare Exposure. You can get an eight-passenger stretch limo. You can have a private dancer in your room. We can get you into restaurants and nightclubs.
“I’m excited. I’m not really nervous. There’s nothing to lose. It could strike a nerve and create a tremendous amount of excitement in Atlantic City as a golf destination with a twist. It’s a nice addition to what we do and it’s fitting that Atlantic City is the place it’s getting launched.
Charlton is hoping the website sparks additional interest in Atlantic City and its wonderful golf courses.
“If we make it easier for people to come to bachelor parties, more people are going to come to Atlantic City,” he said. “You look at things like how is golf evolving with the under-30 crowd? What other things can we include to make it more fun? We’re getting into the video game generation.”
Charlton is anxious to get the word out, hopeful that more people give the concept a try.
“This is edgier and edgy for Atlantic City is good,” said Charlton. “We’re not ashamed to be edgy. You can come here and have the time of your life, a wild and crazy time, and then you can go home.”