A year after being the subject of an ugly legal dispute, the former Showboat Casino Hotel in Atlantic City is slated to reopen next month as a nongaming property.Tower Investments, led by developer Bart Blatstein, announced Friday that 852 hotel rooms in two towers will come online in July. The news comes two years after Showboat was one of four casinos to close in the resort amid crippling competition from other gaming markets.
“Tourists have been pining to visit this essential resort,” Tower CEO Bart Blatstein said in a prepared statement Friday, noting the move will create hundreds of jobs. “Tower’s making it happen.”
Blatstein acquired the iconic property in January for $23 million, following a saga in which it was sold by Caesars Entertainment to Stockton University, only to have Trump Entertainment protest the transaction based on a decades-old agreement. The 1988 deal between Caesars and Trump Taj Mahal dictated the property could only be used as a casino-hotel, leading to the breakdown of the deal between Stockton and Caesars and more legal wrangling that followed.
It was not clear Friday how that ties into Blatstein’s plans to reopen the property without gaming.
Blastein, who acquired and is helping to revitalize the retail area known as The Playground at Caesars, said he was encouraged by last month’s news from Trenton on plans to help the teetering Atlantic City government.
“It’s hugely exciting news,” Blatstein said. “Last week our lawmakers — Senate President Sweeney, Mayor Don Guardian and Council President Marty Small — gave investors a strong blueprint for fiscal stability. I now see a clear path and bright future for this city I love so much.”