Showboat Water Park Project Moving Along Swimmingly

Posted on November 18, 2020

If the ups and downs of hitting the slots or tables in Atlantic City aren’t to your liking, perhaps the ups and downs of a water slide will suit your taste better. That’s what the developer of the future Showboat water park hopes.

The resort hotel got another approval for its plans to construct the $100 million aquatic attraction on Tuesday. When completed, it might allow Showboat to compete for tourist dollars in the city.

CRDA doesn’t leave Showboat water park out to dry

AC’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority’s (CRDA) Board of Directors approved the preliminary determination of project eligibility for the project. A preliminary determination of project eligibility essentially just means a presentation of plans suggested the project would comply with all relevant codes.

“The CRDA believes the waterpark and family entertainment offerings will attract more local and regional visitors,” said CRDA Board Chairman Robert Mulcahy. “In addition, 617 new jobs in sales, management, operations, food service, construction, retail, and other related positions will be created which will directly benefit the area’s joblessness and the local economy.”

Those interested in the project should pay special attention to the words eligibility and preliminary. Showboat does not have final approval to begin construction yet.

Originally, Showboat hoped to break ground for the project in September. The plans call for the park to take up the space between the hotel and Ocean Casino Resort. Currently, that’s a vacant parking lot.

If Showboat gets to realize its deepest dreams, the park will be far from all wet. In addition to a massive pool, the complex will house the following under its retractable roof:

  • Beverage and food options
  • Lazy river
  • Private rooms for events
  • Water slides

Once the resort breaks ground, it projects an 18-month timeline to actually opening the facility. At this point, there’s no set date for that groundbreaking.

The CRDA will now schedule a public hearing. After that, Showboat can make a request for final approval. For the resort, the grand opening probably can’t happen fast enough.

Showboat and greatest show on surf

As the resort can’t offer casino gaming due to a deed restriction, it needs a gimmick to draw customers. Owner Bart Blatstein hopes that what he calls “the best pound-for-pound indoor water park in the country” will suffice.

Showboat isn’t the only AC contender planning serious upgrades, however. Bally’s AC, fresh off an ownership change, plans to invest $90 million over the next five years.

That’s just one example of the kind of competition Showboat could face in the near future. Yet, the water park suggests the resort is going after a different demographic.

Instead of trying to entice high-rollers from another AC casino, Blatstein is likely targeting families with children. The water park could be the hot new place to hold birthdays and other events.

Perhaps someday if Showboat can land a gaming license, you might be able to rinse off the chlorine and play an aquatic slot title all under the same roof.

For now, the plan is to make a busy lazy river.

Photo by ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist from Chicago. In addition to gaming news, he covers esports, sports business and sports law. When he isn’t writing, he spends his serving his two Munchkin cat overlords.

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