The Showboat casino-hotel shutdown in 2014 as it was unable to make a profit and since then the property has been sold to Stockton University who planned to develop a new campus on the property. That plan fell through due to the fact that the neighbouring Trump Taj Mahal casino had a contractual clause which it used to prevent the University from developing a campus on the property. Stockton lost a lot of money on the deal and eventually sold the Showboat property to Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein.
Blatstein acquired the Showboat from Stockton University for $23 million in January this year. He has worked hard to transform the property and has now planned a launch in July where a non casino hotel will be opened to the public. The hotel has a total of 852 rooms making it the biggest non-casino hotel in Atlantic City. The July 8 opening is slated to be a soft opening with the intention of catering to the summer visitors, with a larger rebranding exercise scheduled for next year.
The hotel will bear the same name and will have a Mardi Gras theme. Two restaurants along with a gym and a coffee shop are also being opened on the property. According to Blatstein, the reopening of the complex would result in hundreds of jobs for the city. Blatstein also owns other properties in Atlantic City has stated that these developments are part of a much bigger plan for Atlantic City and stated that he would reveal those plans in due course.
A temporary certificate of occupancy has been granted to Blatstein while a liquor license is scheduled to be issued at the earliest as confirmed by the city’s Alcohol Beverage Control Board chairman Tom Forkin. The new hotel has already hired around 200 workers back in June 2016.
Blatstein has also acquired a former volleyball court located next to the Showboat for $3.8 million and the Garden Pier located diagonally across the Showboat for $1.5 million. He has decided to keep his plans for both these properties confidential as of now and has only stated in his filing that he plans to develop an entertainment complex.
Blatstein is well-known for taking up risky projects. His successes include the revival of the Northern Liberties neighbourhood in Philadelphia. Mayor Dan Guardian has said that Blatstein’s record bodes well for the city and he looks forward to the revitalization of Showboat’s facilities.