The Showboat casino in Atlantic City was one of the four casinos to shutdown due to poor revenues and the property was eventually purchased by Bart Blatstein, the CEO of Tower Investments, a retail and entertainment development company.
Blatstein made it clear that he had no plans to open another casino on the Showboat property considering the state of Atlantic City’s casino industry but preferred to turn it into an entertainment complex. Blatstein and his team have been working hard on re-developing the property and have now planned on a soft launch on July 8 as a hotel, bar and two restaurants will be opened to the public.
The hotel will have a total of 852 rooms, keep the same name and be based on a Mardi Gras theme. The Worship Surf Bar will operate on the first floor and be opened during the evenings. A second restaurant called the Atlantic City Eatery will serve up three meals a day. There will also be a coffee shop and gym open to the public.
The re-opening of the former Showboat casino has not received a lot of publicity due to the fact that the protests between the Atlantic City’s casino union and five casinos in the city have dominated the press in June. However Blatstein has not been deterred by the lack of press and has preferred to focus on applying the final touches to his project which he believes is the re-birth of the Showboat casino.
In a statement, Blatstein said “What Atlantic City doesn’t need is more negative. It needs more positive. Atlantic City has the bones to be among the most amazing cities in the world.”
The Tower Investments CEO has also purchased a former volleyball coat located next to the Showboat casino for $3.8 million and the Garden Pier located diagonal from the property for $1.5 million. Blatstein has preferred not to disclose his future plans for the property and informed the city that he plans to turn the pier into a “multifaceted entertainment destination” and the volleyball court into an “event and entertainment center”.
Blatstein also owns another property in Atlantic City which is the Playground retail and entertainment complex located opposite Caesars Atlantic City. He stated that as a developer it was important for him to continue to acquire property as it gave his company the freedom to expand and grow.
Florida developer Glenn Straub who purchased the former Revel casino feels that the Atlantic City lawmakers have made it a lot easier for the Showboat to proceed with its development but have placed a number of restrictions on his property. Straub also stated that he was willing to make a $100,000 bet that the Showboat would not open on July 8 as planned.