Bart Blatstein, a developer from Philadelphia, is the owner of the former Showboat Casino, which closed back in 2014. Atlantic City lost four casinos that year, with the Showboat remaining shuttered since that time. Blatstein has now announced that the hotel of the former casino will be reopened in July and will function as a non-gambling facility.
According to the Associated Press, Blatstein plans on opening 852 of the hotel’s 1,300 guest rooms by next month, with the facility maintaining the name Showboat. The developer has been making several property purchases throughout Atlantic City, trying to revive the area. In 2015, Blatstein purchased the complex known as the Pier Shops and rebranded the venue, creating shopping, bars, restaurants and nighttime entertainment with the new facility now known as The Playground.
The Showboat Casino closed in August of 2014 and was the second casino to close in the area that year. The owner at the time was Caesars Entertainment who closed the venue, with as many as 2,000 employees losing their jobs. The Showboat had a deed restriction put in place by Caesars that would prohibit a buyer from reopening the venue as a casino in the future. However, there was another deed restriction amongst the casinos in the area that would prohibit the casino from being used as nothing but a first class casino hotel. These restrictions are conflicting and it has yet to be announced by Blatstein if a resolution is in place on the matter.
According to AP, Blatstein decided last week that the project of the Showboat was possible on an economic level. The developer is hoping to have the venue open by the 4th of July but it could be sometime later in the month before the venue will be ready for guests, possibly around the 12th of the month. Blatstein also has plans for amenities for the property but has not decided to announce the plans as of yet.
The Showboat was purchased from Stockton University by Blatstein back in January for $23 million. The university was planning on turning the former casino into a satellite campus but the plan was not applicable due to the deed restrictions.