Luck Returns For The Madison Hotel, An AC Landmark | Editorial


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Michael Scanlon, of the Township of Galloway, recently showed the lobby of the Madison Hotel. He and Philadelphia developer David Mermelstein are working to buy the Madison and make it an upscale hotel again.


Edward Lea, personal photographer


The Madison Hotel is more than a classic Colonial Revival-style beachfront hotel, rightly listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s the epitome of Atlantic City resistance through periods of lush success, near-failure, and jaw-dropping rebound.

Just six months ago he was the victim, like the taxpayers, of an unbridled government welfare program. We criticized the NJ 211 program for providing people with free rooms at Madison and other hotels without verifying their income eligibility. And when some of those people refused to leave their rooms, persistent state and federal anti-eviction policies during the pandemic prevented their eviction. Hotels were stuck with non-paying and misbehaving customers. After a drug seizure this year and violent incidents since last year, the Madison has thankfully been closed for breaking the code.

Now a pair of investors, a local and one from Philadelphia with a second home in Margate, are buying the Madison and intend to restore it to its historic glory.

This is the best news you can hear about what was originally Madison House. Opened as a luxury hotel at the start of the Great Depression, it is one of the few survivors of the city’s heyday as Queen of Resorts.

When Atlantic City collapsed in the 1960s, Madison House almost went bankrupt but remained solvent. The next decade, when the city’s gambling sparked a wave of massive casino hotels replacing historic shore hotels, the Madison dodged the wrecking ball. Later, Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment planned to demolish it to make way for a $ 1.5 billion casino megaport, but then abandoned the project.

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