Play USA NJ Online Casino Forum The Revival of Atlantic City Continues as Another Closed Casino Makes Big Plans!

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    Barbara Nathan

    Old timers may remember the popular watering hole called the Dizzy Dolphin that opened at the Atlantic City Hilton back in 1999 and remained open even after the hotel casino under new ownership became the Atlantic Club. However, when the Atlantic Club became the first casino casualty of 2014, the Dizzy Dolphin also closed.

    Since then, the southernmost casino hotel on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, has remained shuttered, just, like the former Revel, the northernmost Atlantic City casino hotel. However, while the future of the latter property, now known as TEN, remains uncertain, all of the sudden, anyone wondering what is going to happen to the somewhat forgotten property at the other end of the Boardwalk, finally has an answer.

    R&R Development Group, LLC, based in Ventnor, has agreed to purchase the Atlantic Club from its present owners, TJM Properties, for an undisclosed price. It will then invest more than $135 million to transform the property into Dolphin Village, a 100,000 square-foot indoor water park, along with a hotel, restaurants, arcade, and family friendly entertainment. While construction of the water park could take up to 24 months, the hope is to have at least 300 hotel rooms open for business by the fall of 2017.

    There are no plans to open another casino on the property. Instead, the focus will be on year-round family-oriented activities and entertainment.

    Runny Pandit, Executive Director of the Lloyd D. Levinson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism at Stockton University is very optimistic about what the creation of an indoor water park can do for the Atlantic City economy. He envisions not only a large influx of visitors to Dolphin Village, but also significantly increased hotel occupancy and food and beverage spending spilling over to the Atlantic City casino hotels. Furthermore, assuming this project comes to fruition, it is expected to create more than 3,000 jobs.

    This is not the first time the idea of turning the Atlantic Club into a water park has been proposed. In December, 2013, just three weeks prior to when the Atlantic Club closed, through a bankruptcy settlement, the Tropicana acquired the casino’s slot machines, gaming tables, and player data base, while Caesars Entertainment acquired the actual property. Then, in May, 2014, Caesars sold the Atlantic Club for a reported $13.5 million to TJM properties, a Clearwater, FL development firm. Then, last year, a Pennsylvania firm, Endeavor, wanted to buy the property from TJM and turn it into an indoor water park, but the deal never materialized.

    Ronald A. Young, a managing partner at R&R Development Group, stated that he hopes to close on the deal in the next 50 days. He hopes that Dolphin Village will restore the property to “its original glory” reminiscent of when Steve Wynn ran it as the Golden Nugget.

    How do you feel about an indoor water park in Atlantic City? Would this be an activity that would appeal to you personally? I think it might be a lot of fun, and all the more so because all the gambling you could possibly want is a short walk away, at the Tropicana next door!


    Patrick Mullen

    I’m on the fence about this one. I think one of the reasons the Atlantic Club floundered was because of where it was located.

    The good news is that the one casino it is close to — the Tropicana — is in the midst of a pretty big revival.
    Think I read somewhere that Trop. revenue is up over 25 percent or something since last year. And it did just complete that $90 million renovation.

    So I’m thinking there’s at least a chance that a water park at the Atlantic Club could do all right. I mean they have to figure out a way to get people down there during the winter. What do casinos make from Dec – Mar, like half of what they take in during Jun – Sept?

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