Island Waterpark At Showboat Atlantic City Begins Offseason Hibernation

Written By David Danzis on October 25, 2023
Photo of Showboat Atlantic City, which announced updated hours of operation and lower ticket prices for the offseason

After its inaugural summer, Atlantic City’s $100 million indoor waterpark is scaling back operations for the upcoming winter season.

Island Waterpark at Showboat Hotel Atlantic City will be closed most weekdays through at least January. The oceanfront attraction has also cut prices on general admission and twilight tickets.

The reductions in price and hours of operation are unsurprising, given Atlantic City’s seasonal appeal. Typically, Atlantic City casinos cut staffing at restaurants, bars, nightclubs and retail stores after Labor Day, only to ramp up hiring just before Memorial Day.

Showboat water park cutting back hours, ticket prices

The growth of online casinos in New Jersey and increased regional competition is impacting the local economy more and more.

The 103,000-square-foot Island Waterpark is the centerpiece of a local effort to expand Atlantic City’s appeal beyond its nine casinos. Later this year, Dave & Buster’s will be opening on Atlantic Avenue, adding another non-gaming option for AC visitors.

Billed as a year-round attraction, tickets to Island Waterpark are available Fridays through Mondays, with additional weekday openings for holiday breaks. The park is open 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday and Friday. On the weekends, Island’s hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Full-day general admission prices are $49 on Monday and Friday and $69 on Saturday and Sunday. According to the water park’s website, the twilight ticket prices (4 p.m. to close) are $39. The extended weekday openings during the holidays also have a $39 all-day ticket price.

Showboat transitions from Atlantic City casino to entertainment facility

Once a popular Boardwalk casino, Showboat was shuttered by Caesars Entertainment in 2014. Two years later, Philadelphia-based developer Bart Blatstein bought the property for $23 million.

Blatstein flirted with the idea of bringing gambling back to the Showboat, but a deed restriction on the property proved too onerous to overcome. At one point, he presented state gaming regulators with a proposal to build a sports-betting-centric facility adjacent to the Showboat in order to circumvent the deed restriction.

Ultimately, Blatstein decided to abandon his pursuit of a gaming license in favor of turning Showboat into a multi-use, family-friendly destination.

Blatstein’s Tower Investments has spent millions renovating hotel rooms and converting an entire tower into apartments. The Lucky Snake Arcade opened in 2021. An indoor go-kart track inside the hotel opened last year.

Showboat hosts conventions, sporting events and live entertainment. Before turning the former casino floor into an arcade, Showboat was the setting for a zombie movie.

Photo by Wayne Parry / AP Photo
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David Danzis

David Danzis is the lead writer for PlayNJ. He is a New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University. As a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, David earned statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports, and business. Today, he is PlayNJ’s Atlantic City “insider” and gaming industry expert on casinos, sports betting, and online gambling. David lives in Atlantic County, NJ with his wife and two children.

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