The Island Waterpark at Showboat is a 100,000 sq ft glass pane curved roof water park under construction at the Showboat Hotel property in Atlantic City, and I stopped down Friday to check in on progress.
In this article I also cover the recently opened Luck Snake Arcade as well as upcoming plans to convert one of the Showboat towers into apartments!
With fun things to do in Atlantic City, lots of construction and only 40 minutes or so away from Washington Township, 42Freeway will be stopping in at Atlantic City and the county at least monthly to share all the latest news on things being developed or recently opened.
Keep scrolling and reading!
Island Water Park at Showboat
This massive $100 million Island Waterpark will have a glass retractable roof for year round waterpark fun including water slides, pools, restaurants, bars and more!
The Showboat Hotel is owned by Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein who is doubling down on his family friendly targeted resort.
Showboat does not have a casino but operates as a hotel (and soon apartments also). They also operate the equally impressive Lucky Snake arcade, sports bar and indoor go-kart track.
The original target opening for the Island Waterpark was Memorial Day Weekend 2023. I do not have an update if that opening date is still on target, after 10 months of development.
Island Water Park at Showboat – Details
The Island Waterpark is being developed directly next to the Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City.
The lot at New Jersey Avenue was previously a surface level parking lot, and stretches from the boardwalk to New Jersey Ave.
The property is a QUARTER MILE DEEP and the water park and associated fun areas will utilize the entire space!
The glass enclosed portion of the water park will be over 550 feet, with a slightly larger property buffer for outdoor fun, on the boardwalk side.
The Island Waterpark will feature 11 different slides including racing “parallel pursuit” racing slides. On the tamer side there will be a 10,300 sq ft splash pad as well as a lazy river.
Plans also include restaurants and bars as well as retail stores, lounge areas and party rooms.
The latest renderings from glass enclosure manufacturer OpenAire show the building seems to have evolved into a much larger indoor space than earlier reports a few years ago
Family friendly but targeting fun for all ages, renderings developed by the architecture team also show areas within the facility but away from the action, where adults can relax with a cool tropical beverage… giving that full tropical experience. Even if it’s 22 degrees out in Atlantic City!
They even show a recreated small shop boardwalk experience, with a variety of food options including pizza, burgers, French fries and Kohr’s Ice Cream.. to fun and games
And how about a zipline through the facility? Well according to some reports that is in the mix too!
Showboat Hotel – Atlantic City
Family fun has always been a part of the Showboat experience, going back to it’s opening in 1987, having originally opened with a 60 lane bowling alley! A very unique thing for Atlantic City back then.
1987?! Can you believe its been that long!?
In 2003 they were enjoying much success and a second hotel tower was added, the Orleans and the House of Blues venue.
Despite being profitable, just 11 years later in 2014 the then owner Caesars Entertainment put the casino up for sale.. and with no buyers in line the soon closed it.
The sale and closure was intended to strengthen the other Caesars properties in Atlantic City.
In 2014 Stockton College purchased the property with the intent to make it an Atlantic City campus.
Facing legal issues with those plans, in 2016 Philadelphia based developer Bart Blatstein and his Tower Investments purchased the property with plans to reopen it.
Blatstein is credited with creating the start of the rebirth of the Northern Liberties/Fishtown area when he developed the Piazza project at the former Schmidt’s Brewery in Philadelphia. His Tower Investments site lists over 25 prominent projects in the Delaware Valley.
In Atlantic City Blatstein is approved to apply for a Casino license, but there is an interesting twist to the Showboat story.
When Caesars sold the property they added a deed restriction which stated the buildings could not be used for a casino! Caesars did not want to add competition to the Atlantic City marketplace.
But the undeveloped parking lot was fair game for a casino, and initially it was believed Blatstein would develop a new Casino on that portion of the property.
Those plans then changed… with the development of the Island Waterpark.
Luck Snake Arcade
Currently the Showboat features the the large Lucky Snake arcade and sports bar, with indoor go karts. The Island Waterpark will be a perfect accompaniment to that the arcade.
Its an innovative use of what was previously a large casino floor.
The arcade features all the latest interactive games, as well as a Pinball area featuring both the latest machines as well as retro machines.
The back portion features an indoor electric go-kart track where the lights are kept a little dimmer, and the course is marked with neon lights.
The Lucky Snake Arcade features several restaurants and bars.
I would imagine the Island Waterpark and Lucky Snake Arcade will have a connecting hallway but I couldn’t find evidence of that yet.
Orleans Tower Apartments
With two large towers of hotel rooms, the idea of apartments for some of the rooms has been floating around for years.
This week on October 20th the Casino Redevelopment Authority will hear a presentation to turn the Orleans tower (closest to the Waterpark) into 312 studio apartments!
Apartments are an approved use for the zone.
Links and Locations
Showboat Hotel Atlantic City
Atlantic City, NJ 08401