December 16, 2020 Casino, Land-Based

Water park approved at former Atlantic City casino site

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Gambling could return to Showboat site if officials approve

Atlantic City officials have approved development of a water park at a former casino site, but the future of the property remains up in the air until the details are sorted out.

The resort city’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority gave a green light to construction of a $100 million water park project, saying it would increase non-gaming tourism.

According to reports by the Associated Press, the owner of the Showboat site is asking for the site to be designated as an entertainment retail district, which would mean 20 years of tax breaks. The CRDA has yet to approve that request. The decision is expected early in 2021.

The Showboat currently is a non-gaming hotel. Bart Blatstein, a Philadelphia-based developer who owns the property, has indicated in the past he would like to restore Showboat as a casino, but with approval of the water park that part of the equation is unclear.

The CRDA approved construction of the water park on land adjacent to the Showboat’s hotel tower.

“It is abundantly clear that Atlantic City is lacking in family destinations,” Blatstein told The Associated Press after the vote. “There’s not enough for them to do here. This will create Atlantic City’s first year-round family resort.”

Atlantic City has built an aquarium and a large Ferris wheel in an effort to diversify its tourism base. Local officials also have considered other water park projects.

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