Atlantic City’s Reinvention Progresses With Start of $100 Million Water Park Project

It was a chilly 34 degrees outside, but developer Bart Blatstein threw a beach party to kick off construction of his delayed $100 million project in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In a large tent right off the seaside vacation spot’s famous boardwalk, waitresses in thong bikinis and waiters in swim trunks served drinks. A near-naked model in body paint walked among the packed crowd of attendees. Youths cavorted in a small pool in the corner of the room. A scruffy-looking band played.

Blatstein, founder and CEO of Philadelphia-based Tower Investments, made a big splash Wednesday to herald the coming of Island Waterpark, which is being built in an empty lot adjacent to the developer’s noncasino hotel, The Showboat, at 801 Boardwalk.

The massive family-oriented water park — a 103,000-square-foot, year-round indoor facility with a retractable roof — is part of a pipeline of projects that have finally come to fruition and are now underway in Atlantic City, the East Coast’s gambling mecca.

The water park and at least one other development, the construction of a ShopRite supermarket — for a city that’s been without a full-fledged grocery store for years — are nongaming related, and are expected to help diversify and boost the local economy. Some of the other work underfoot in the Garden State beachfront venue, which faces competition from Pennsylvania and Connecticut, aims to modernize and add amenities to its existing casino hotels.

*Article courtesy of Costar

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