The Showboat in Atlantic City is poised to come out of mothballs this week.
This time, however, there won’t be any gambling at the AC property that shuttered in 2014.
What’s going on at Showboat
Even as the gambling industry has shown signs of stabilizing in Atlantic City, Showboat has no intent of reentering the market.
Instead of trying to compete with the eight surviving casino resorts in AC, Showboat is looking at a model that relies entirely on non-casino revenue.
According to the Press of Atlantic City, the property will reopen on July 8. Over the Fourth of July weekend, the publication reported that it looked like it was nearly ready to do so.
Inside the Showboat
What will be available when the Showboat officially does its soft opening?
- 852 hotel rooms
- Worship Surf Bar (evenings only)
- Atlantic City Eatery (open for all meals)
- A coffee shop
- A gym
Currently, Showboat does not have a liquor license.
The new owner, Bart Blatstein, has said he has a lot more plans for the property but has not divulged them publicly. He has bought up some of the property adjacent to the Showboat, which will eventually rebrand, as well. More from the Press of AC:
Blatstein is acquiring Boardwalk properties like a real-life Mr. Monopoly. Hours after the tour, City Council authorized the city to sell Blatstein a former volleyball court next to Showboat for $3.8 million. Council recently authorized the city to sell him Garden Pier for $1.5 million. The pier is across from Revel, or diagonal from Showboat, as Blatstein put it.
The AC roller coaster
It all appears to be a part of Blatstein’s master plan after acquiring the distressed property for $23 million.
For the past year, the city has been showing signs of life, although it may also be in need of a bailout from the state after Gov. Chris Christie signed an aid package.
There is also the possibility of a referendum allowing casinos in North Jersey. If approved, there have been wildly divergent opinions on what that could mean for the existing casinos in New Jersey, including the possibility of more properties closing down.
Will an AC property actually reopen this time?
If Showboat gets its doors open first, it has a bit of a leg up over Revel, which appears to have several hurdles to overcome before actually reopening.
Blatstein has done a lot of legwork that Revel has not — including holding a job fair and hiring a bunch of workers to staff the property.
And while the Showboat’s fresh start may be a relatively small blip on the radar when it comes to AC’s bottom line, it could be an omen of things to come.