ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP)Atlantic City is desperately trying to think of ways to shake off its casino hangover and bring in new tourists — and their money — to town.

One state senator has a refreshing suggestion: letting visitors drink on the beach and boardwalk.

Tom Kean Jr., New Jersey’s Senate Republican leader, sent a letter Wednesday to Jon Hansen, who Gov. Chris Christie has tasked with coordinating efforts to help the resort.

Kean’s suggestions include better air service to the resort, tax incentives for big-time entertainment, and establishing a cruise ship port.

But he also says Atlantic City should loosen up about letting people carry open containers of alcohol.

He says it would allow patrons to more easily move from one beach or boardwalk bar to another.

“If we’re going to compete against Las Vegas, let’s compete against Las Vegas,” Kean told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.

“People should be able to flow in a responsible way between the various entertainment venues,” Kean said.

Joseph Weinert, senior vice president of the South Jersey-based Spectrum Gaming consulting group, said the idea could work if kept in check.

“Cleary, being able to walk around the Las Vegas Strip with a beer adds to the appeal of that location,” he said.

“In certain zones, at certain times, or for certain events, it’s something that’s happened in Key West, in Las Vegas, New Orleans,” Weinert added.

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