Richard Stockton College Finalizes Purchase of the Showboat Casino
In what has been hailed as a step in the right direction for the embattled Atlantic City casino industry, Richard Stockton College has finalized its $18 million purchase of the shuttered Showboat Casino and has confirmed it plans to transform the famous Boardwalk casino into, what it has called, it’s “Island Campus”.
After completing the purchase of the hotel and casino from the Caesars Entertainment Corporation, who closed the still profitable casino in order to consolidate Atlantic City’s deteriorating casino industry, the college has announced its plans for the building.
The 1329 room hotel sits on 28 acres of prime beachfront property and the college has said that it will transform the casino floor into classroom space, staff offices and more. Student housing will be available in two of the hotels old towers while the third tower will remain a hotel to be operated by the college and which will service the Atlantic City tourism industry.
Stockton College also mentioned plans to create a campus around the building that will benefit the local inhabitants of Atlantic City who want to set up a business to offer goods or services to the students.
“Around a campus, many things are built. There are restaurants. There are other shops. They are things that work extremely well that cater to the students. But, of course, you also have faculty and staff who move in,” said Richard Stockton President, Herman Saatkamp.
The college is expected to open in the fall of 2015 with full academic programs being offered immediately. The transaction between the college and Caesars Entertainment id debt-free due to the College’s investment fund being tapped to make the $18 million purchase. This means that tuition fees will not have to increase as a result of the acquisition.
Stockton College has said that the purchase of the old casino building is less than what it would have been to demolish the buildings and start from scratch. Their most recent project, a housing center at Stockton’s main campus cost $48 million to build. If you consider the price of the entire casino, as well as the amount needed to refurbish it and transform it into a campus, it’ll be significantly lower than what it would have been otherwise.
In an effort to diversify Atlantic City’s offerings, the city as well as the casinos involved, have welcomed new businesses in what was once, a very gambling orientated town.
“The diversification of activities available in Atlantic City stands to benefit all of the city’s stakeholders,” said Caesars Entertainment Corporation CEO, Gary Loveman
The city is currently suffering at the hands of a massive decline during the current US casino boom which is drawing players away from the Atlantic City Boardwalk and into one of the many out-of-state casinos that are opening in the likes of Baltimore and Philadelphia and which has caused 4 Atlantic City casinos to close, with the fifth, the Trump Taj Mahal, set to close in December.
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