Showboat Hotel Preparing For Holiday Extravaganza With 50-Foot Tree

Written By Bill Gelman on November 16, 2022
Showboat AC Holiday Tree

Wondering how Atlantic City is preparing for the holiday season? Well, it’s hard to miss the 50-foot tree sitting outside the Showboat Hotel.

And while it would make a very nice centerpiece for Showboat’s Island Waterpark, the tree will be long gone when the new entertainment amenity opens next year. According to the press release, this will be the city’s iconic boardwalk’s first ever live Christmas tree (soon to be adorned with 8,000 lights).

Here’s a closer look at what the Showboat Holiday Extravaganza is all about.

‘A momentous occasion’ coming to Showboat Atlantic City

The Showboat Holiday Extravaganza opens with a tree lighting ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m.

Call it the latest example of how Bart Blatstein, CEO of Tower Investments which owns Showboat, is bringing a more family-friendly approach to AC’s adult playground. Showboat neighbors Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Ocean Casino Resort, which rank No. 2 and 3, respectively, in land-based gambling revenue.

A deed restriction prevents Showboat from becoming an Atlantic City casino like it was prior to its 2014 closure. Blatstein is essentially catering to a much bigger customer base where decorating Atlantic City Boardwalk’s first ever decorated holiday tree makes sense.

“The season-long holiday extravaganza that will kick off during the special tree lighting ceremony will bring fun for the whole family to the city and help celebrate a momentous occasion,” Blatstein said.

Showboat Hotel Holiday Extravaganza schedule

The tree lighting ceremony is just the start of what Showboat is planning. Some of the other holiday festivities (many of which are free) will include:

  • Live music and entertainment from local singing groups
  • Games and rides for kids
  • Giveaways from Santa in a lifeguard boat
  • Shopping from local vendors
  • Pop-up bars for the adults

Many events are free. Atlantic City visitors can enjoy Showboat Holiday Extravaganza Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 5 p.m.

Island Waterpark coming in 2022

Hosting holiday-themed events is the latest example to Showboat’s family-friendly approach. The biggest is the Island Waterpark, which is currently under construction.

Groundbreaking for the $100-million Island Waterpark took place in January. The 103,000-square-foot aquatic attraction will include a retractable roof and feature:

  • Water slides
  • Lazy river
  • Swimming pools
  • Zipline
  • Adult-only areas

And when driving past the New Jersey Avenue beach block lot next to the Showboat, it’s hard not to notice the construction.

More importantly, it could be ready to open by Memorial Day weekend 2023.

For now, Showboat’s Lucky Snake Arcade offers guests non-gambling entertainment.  Besides being over 100,000 square feet, it is New Jersey’s largest arcade.

Combined with the Holiday Extravaganza, Showboat offers alternatives to the typical Atlantic City casino experience.

Photo by Wayne Parry/AP
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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman has been reporting on the NJ gambling market since 2018, right around when the Garden State launched sports betting. Bill transitioned from lead writer for PlayNJ and NJ Gambling Sites to his current role as managing editor in 2020. Besides offering in-depth analysis on NJ gambling market trends and news, Bill regularly sits down with Atlantic City casino industry executives to offer readers exclusive interviews and comprehensive coverage. Bill received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ithaca College. He has contributed to other Catena Media sites including The Lines, Legal Sports Report, PlayPennsylvania and PlayCanada.

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