Lawsuit Claims Blatstein Owes $7 Million To Subcontractors For Construction Of Island Waterpark

Written By Grant Lucas on June 18, 2024
Image of Island Waterpark at Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City.

Last year, Bart Blatstein completed a much-anticipated project to breathe new life into the old Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City.

The Island Waterpark opened to much fanfare, a $100 million project that Blatstein guaranteed would change Atlantic City “like it never has in its history,” Blatstein said during the project’s groundbreaking in late 2022.

As much excitement that surrounded the opening, however, Blatstein now faces some blowback from an irrigation and landscape company that claims Blatstein owes it $1.8 million for completed work.

Lawsuit: Accelerated Construction is insolvent, can’t pay debts

Parker Interior Plantscape Inc. claims in a lawsuit that it “provided nearly $2,000,000 in labor and services” to Blatstein’s company, Accelerated Construction. Despite messages indicating otherwise, Parker Interior Plantscape has yet to be compensated. As such, per the filing, “it is clear that Accelerated is a debtor not paying its debts as they become due.”

The plaintiff has requested that a Superior Court judge to place Accelerated Construction into receivership and force a sale of Island Waterpark. Ralph A. Paolone has set a deadline of July 5 to release a decision on the matter.

Anthony Rainone, representing Parker, noted that other subcontractors have filed construction liens with the Atlantic County Clerk against Accelerated Construction with due payments hovering around $7 million.

For its part, Parker claims Blatstein’s company owes just shy of $1.8 million for landscaping and irrigation work around the water park that brought a year-round resort atmosphere to the Atlantic City casinos area.

“Accelerated Construction is now and for some time has been insolvent and unable to pay its debts as they become due,” Rainone wrote in a court filing, “as evidenced by the substantial amount of unpaid claims due to Parker Interior and numerous other creditors.”

Attorney for plaintiff: ‘You can’t not pay your creditors’

During that 2022 groundbreaking, Blatstein assured that funding for the water park was coming from his own wallet.

“It’s my money that goes into this place,” Blatstein said at the time. “There are no partners. There is no outside money. This is not a public company. It’s my money.”

According to the lawsuit, Blatstein does not have the funding to pay subcontractors.

“We believe this is one operation that serves Bart and only Bart,” Rainone said, as reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer. “You can’t not pay your creditors.”

Rainone speculated that Blatstein is “clearly diverting assets away from Accelerated Construction to unknown insiders in order to thwart creditors’ efforts to collect the amounts owed.”

“The appointment of a receiver is urgently needed to take control of the assets and operations of Accelerated Construction,” Rainone wrote in the filing, “identify and recover transfers that occurred since insolvency, and prevent further dissipation and fraudulent transfers during the pendency of this litigation.”

He added:

“If a receiver is not appointed, I believe there is a substantial risk that Blatstein will continue to transfer assets away from the Blatstein Group Defendants to insiders or affiliates in an effort to frustrate Parker Interior and the other construction lien holder’s ability to recover the amounts they are owed.”

Photo by Ruben Garcia
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant now focuses his attention on the growing NJ online gambling and sports betting scene.

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