The Showboat is the latest Atlantic City property to announce big plans for the summer season. In fact, the plans are so big that property owner Bart Blatstein spoke at the Thursday press conference with a giant yellow snake hanging from his shoulders.
One could say the cameo appearance by the reptile was rather fitting being that the big news was to announce the May 15 opening of the Lucky Snake at Showboat. And it’s going to be New Jersey’s largest arcade at over 100,000 square feet.
Blatstein, a Philadelphia developer and CEO of Tower Investments, Inc., received license approval last week for the arcade featuring non-casino family entertainment.
According to the press release, the Lucky Snake will include a 25,000-square-foot sports bar with an e-sports gaming area and a boxing ring.
The Lucky Snake is taking over the vacant space previously occupied by the former Showboat casino, which closed in 2014.
The Lucky Snake is more than another AC Boardwalk arcade
Sure, there are arcades up and down the Atlantic City Boardwalk, but none of them will measure up to the scale of the Lucky Snake.
Here is a rundown of some of the offerings that will be available to customers:
- World’s largest crane game, rising from floor to ceiling
- Classic games from the 1980s to the present
- Virtual reality games
- Basketball games
- Pinball machines
- Skee ball
And like other arcades, Lucky Snake customers will be able to redeem tickets for prizes including everything from candy to designer purses and jewelry.
There will be larger prizes, too, like cars, motorcycles, and all-inclusive vacations.
According to the release, “the arcade’s reward program will be comparable to the most advanced and favored customer loyalty programs in the casino industry.”
“This is a very exciting time for us,” said Blatstein. “We at Tower Investments are extremely proud of this hotel and are thrilled to further expand on its offerings for guests of all ages, especially families. It has always been our mission to deliver an unforgettable experience for our guests and we are delighted to bring a family-friendly and year-round resort option to Atlantic City.”
The redesigned Showboat gaming floor also will include a speakeasy concept featuring the famous Riviera sign that was once a staple on the Las Vegas Strip.
Blatstein is slowly bringing Showboat back to life
The Showboat dates back to March 1987 when it opened as a hotel, casino, and bowling alley. However, it was one of four Atlantic City casinos to close in 2014.
And it remained vacant until Blatstein purchased the 1.4 million-square-foot property in January 2016 for $23 million. In July of that year, Blatstein reopened the Showboat as a non-gaming hotel.
Call it the first of many changes along the Uptown section of the Boardwalk.
Trump Taj Mahal closed in late-2016 before reopening in 2018 as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. The former Revel also reopened in 2018 as Ocean Casino Resort.
And while Blatstein flirted with the idea of bringing back gambling to the Showboat, his bigger vision centers around building an indoor water park on a vacant parcel of land between the Showboat and Ocean. It has an estimated price tag of more than $90 million.
In December, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) approved a 20-year tax break for the project, which will be open year-round.
The CRDA approved the project designation as an entertainment retail district which entitles it to an annual rebate of up to $2.5 million in sales generated by it for 20 years.
An official groundbreaking date for the water park is expected soon.
But Blatstein isn’t stopping there as future plans include a domed outdoor concert hall along with a beer garden.
For now, all the buzz centers around the Lucky Snake.