Atlantic City’s newest attraction — Showboat’s indoor water park — won’t open on June 30 as planned.
The project, helmed by owner Bart Blatstein, has already suffered its fair share of setbacks. The latest is a failure to secure proper licensing in time for a June 30 opening.
The original plan was to open the AC water park by 5 p.m. June 30, an outcome that looks increasingly unlikely (if not impossible) as the day goes on.
Island Water Park could make a refreshing splash for Atlantic City
Blatstein says the blame for the delayed opening belongs to him. In a statement to The Press of Atlantic City, he said:
“It’s a Bart issue. I’m not opening the waterpark until it’s perfect.”
Blatstein continued, “I want everything just right. It’s going to be here for decades.”
Island Water Park is a 103,000-square-foot assemblage of water slides and other attractions, including a lazy river, multiple pools, a roller coaster, an arcade and various food options. The real kicker is the complex’s retractable roof, which allows the attraction to stay open all year and let some sun in during the hot summer months.
Some reports indicate the project cost $100 million to build and that Island Water Park is the “world’s largest” indoor beachfront water park. Of course, that’s a lot of qualifiers. Indoor beachfront water parks could be counted on one hand, if we had to estimate.
Analysts and Atlantic City-goers seem hopeful about Island Water Park’s prospects. Some think it could bring an economic boost to the city and draw more families to what is historically a gambling destination.
Early rumors suggest that tickets will initially cost around $100 to $110, though officials for the resort say pricing will adjust seasonally. Take that with a grain of salt, however, as Island Water Park has denied the rumored pricing. Other sources, such as KYW News Radio, report a price range between $69 and $119.
Either way, that’s an expensive ticket, especially considering Atlantic City butts up right against the ocean with which it shares a name. Showboat could stand to make a pretty penny during winter months when Atlantic City’s beaches don’t have much to offer, but it’s still a stretch. Time will tell whether ticket prices launch at that rate and continue to stay the same.
Can Showboat change tides in Atlantic City?
Thanks to the advent of online gambling and increasingly lax casino regulations in the US, Atlantic City has lost a bit of its luster. Island Water Park is one small step toward reshaping the city as a prime vacation destination for everyone—not just those old enough to gamble and drink.
Whether Island Water Park succeeds is still up in the air (or water, I suppose). But a strong showing in the attraction’s early days could signal an evolution for the city. I wouldn’t be surprised to see similar projects spring up from other resorts in the area if Island draws a big crowd.