Showboat Atlantic City Allegedly Owes Millions of Dollars to Waterpark Contractors

Posted on: June 16, 2024, 01:25h. 

Last updated on: June 17, 2024, 10:29h.

The owner of the Showboat Hotel allegedly owes millions of dollars to construction firms and contractors who helped bring the Atlantic City Boardwalk resort’s $100 million waterpark to life.

Showboat Atlantic City Island Waterpark
The Island Waterpark at the Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City allegedly hasn’t paid its construction firms. The $100 million attraction is facing numerous liens and a lawsuit asking a state judge to place the facility into receivership. (Image: Showboat Hotel)

Philadelphia real estate tycoon Bart Blatstein, whose Tower Investments owns and operates the Showboat Hotel, is named in a lawsuit that seeks to have the resort’s Island Waterpark placed into receivership. The plaintiff is Parker Interior Plantscape, Inc., a New Jersey company, which claims it’s owed $1.8 million relating to irrigation and landscape work the firm did for the family-oriented attraction.

The defendant is Blatstein’s construction company, Accelerated Construction.

Accelerated Construction is now and for some time has been insolvent and unable to pay its debts as they become due, as evidenced by the substantial amount of unpaid claims due to Parker Interior and numerous other creditors,” the complaint read.

Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Ralph Paolone has scheduled a July 5 date to hear the case.

Millions in Outstanding Invoices

Parker Interior Plantscape is the only company that did work for the Island Waterpark that has filed a lawsuit seeking to have the facility placed into receivership to allow the company to receive its money owed. But the company isn’t alone in claiming that Accelerated Construction didn’t make good on its contracts.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, at least eight subcontractors have filed construction liens on claims that they’re owed a total of approximately $7 million. Blatstein declined to comment on the lawsuit and liens.

Blatstein acquired the Showboat in 2016 for $23 million from Stockton University.

After initially planning to seek a casino license to return gaming to the resort, the real estate mogul decided that Atlantic City didn’t need more slot machines and table games, but instead, could use additional family-friendly options.

The deed restriction that Caesars Entertainment placed on the building when it shuttered the Showboat Hotel & Casino in 2014 prevents the current structure from being used for casino gambling, presumably forcing Blatstein’s hand, too.

Blatstein in 2018 and 2019 successfully had the Showboat property subdivided into five new lots of record and gained preliminary suitability approval to possess a gaming concession from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE).

Waterpark Slip and Slide

Blatstein bet big on believing Atlantic City could lure more families down the shore with his year-round waterpark attraction. Island Waterpark officially opened on July 4, 2023.

“On July 4th, I want to declare our independence from being known as just a casino town to a family-friendly beach resort that also has casinos,” Blatstein declared at the time.

The park’s first year in business hasn’t gone as planned.

Due to lackluster attendance, and just months after opening to great hype, the Island Waterpark last fall announced it would be closing midweek Tuesday through Thursday and scaling back its weekend hours. Ticket prices were also dropped, which many guests said were too high.

The $89 adult entry price was reduced to just $49 over the winter and spring, but general admission prices have returned to $69 for the 2024 summer season. On Google, the attraction maintains a 3.8/5-star rating on nearly 900 reviews.