When one thinks of Atlantic City, the mind instantly goes to casino gaming. The boardwalk town is filled with casinos side by side offering slots, table games, video poker and more. Visitors can enjoy casino gaming along with dining and other forms of entertainment. For the most part, the town is visited by adults, however, families do travel here, enjoying the beaches and other entertainment options. Developer Bart Blatstein has family plans for his Showboat hotel, now announcing plans to create a family-friendly space with his indoor water park idea and a new beach bar.
In early September, Blatstein submitted a proposal in Atlantic City to be the redeveloper for several beach lots owned by the city as well as for a new beach bar for the Showboat. The redevelopment plan as well as entertainment space and beach bar would be permanent and temporary facilities located in between the Boardwalk and the sand dunes.
Last week, the City Council sent the proposal by the developer to the Planning Board to be reviewed. A decision will not be made on the matter until early October, at the soonest. The plan will have to be approved by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority as they have the authority within the Tourism District of Atlantic City.
The plan if approved would have a bidding process for contracting services. The state also has the option to bypass the public bidding process for city-owned land. If Blatstein gains approval for the beach bar and is named the redeveloper for the project, it could be allowed additional financing.
Good for the Area
The Atlantic City planning and development director, Barbara Woolley-Dillion, told the council that the plan would compliment the water park that Blatstein is planning for the area. The water park would be located between the Showboat property and the Ocean Casino Resort.
According to Woolley-Dillion, the additions would be an improvement to the region that would be taxable but also an enhancement to the Boardwalk. It will bring in additional business to those located in the area, including casino facilities.
The area where the facilities will be located is in a region that has been rebranded as North Beach. This area of the Boardwalk includes the Ocean Casino and spans to the Resorts Casino Hotel. The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City is located in this area along with the Showboat as well as the Orange Loop and the Steel Pier.
While there is support for Bartstein’s plans, there is also some concern. Moisse Delgado, the vice president of the Council, showed concern over the project as the developer has not fulfilled promises made in the past. This includes the Garden Pier and the Playground Pier. Delgado also showed concern that the plans would give the developer an advantage over his competitors on the Boardwalk as he would have the majority of the real estate in the area.
Blatstein seems to be ready to get started. In June, he testified that the Showboat will become a family resort with a hotel that is anchored via an indoor water park along with other amenities.