Inside D.C. entertainment

Comparing 'Atlantic' staff retreats: St. Barts or Atlantic City?

February 17, 2012 - 09:30 AM
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(st-barths.com)

Buzzfeed broke the news yesterday — and, yes, get used to reading those words — that David Bradley, owner of Atlantic Media Company, is flying 20 senior executives and editors (plus their spouses) to a retreat at the "posh French Caribbean destination" of Saint Barthélemy, otherwise known as St. Barts. Bradley's paying for it himself, rather than using company funds, but still, "Editorial staffers being left behind on the St. Bart's trip grumbled to BuzzFeed that the money could be put to better use." Or perhaps they're just bitter that last year, their retreat was in Atlantic City.

But is a volcanic island resort in the Caribbean really that much better than the rundown gambling den of the "armpit of America"? Since I've been to neither place, there's only one way to find out: by comparing TripAdvisor's top 5 "things to do" for each location.

1.

St. Barts: Grande Saline Beach

Atlantic City: IMAX Theater at Tropicana

If your #1 destination is an IMAX theater, which you can find anywhere, you're in trouble.

SB: 1. AC: 0.

2.

St. Barts: Anse du Gouverneur

Atlantic City: The Quarter at Tropicana

Would you rather be here, or here? Even a mediocre beach beats a great shopping mall any day.

SB: 2. AC: 0.

3.

St. Barts: Colombier Beach

Atlantic City: Absecon Lighthouse

Another beach? Is that all this island offers — a place where America's 1% can suntan in peace? What's worse, this beach is a 30-minute hike from the nearest road. Americans don't travel to other countries, leaving their cars behind, for the inconvenience of walking.

None of this matters. Lighthouses always win.

SB: 2. AC: 1.

4.

St. Barts: Shell Beach

Atlantic City: The Pier Shops at Caesars

When I was about seven or eight years old, at Long Beach Island in New Jersey, a seashell cut me in the small of my back, right across a sardine-sized birthmark. Something strange happened during the healing process, and now it looks like an archipelago of scabby bed bug bites.

Don't hang out on shell-strewn beaches.

SB: 2. AC: 2.

5.

St. Barts: St. Jean Beach

Atlantic City: Spa Toccare

Oh, Atlantic City. You were so close to an upset, but a spa will not do. If TripAdvisor's users had the sense to up-vote number six, the Atlantic City Boardwalk, this might have ended differently. Or maybe not.

SB: 3. AC: 2.

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