Showboat Casino To Become College Campus

13 Nov 2014 | 11:09 Author: King, George

The Richard Stockton College, located in Southern New Jersey just outside of Atlantic City, has signed a letter of intent to purchase the shuttered Showboat Casino from current owners, the Caesars Entertainment Corp, and transform it into a branch campus.

Caesars Entertainment made the announcement on Wednesday that the college had signed a letter of intent to purchase the famous casino. The 1.4 million square foot building, located on 28 acres of prime beachfront real estate, currently has 1329 hotel rooms.

The terms of the deal between current owners Caesars and the New Jersey College will be subject to the usual due diligence checks, but the details of the deal have yet to be disclosed.

Richard Stockton College President, Herman Saatkamp, speaking of the purchase in a statement to the press, said: “Our intent is to engage in a project that enhances Stockton’s educational growth, offerings and cost-containment while at the same time brings new educational opportunities to Atlantic City”.

The Showboat, which was the second of four Atlantic City casinos to close this year, was closed by Caesars in the early parts of August this year and, despite it still being profitable to the group, they decided to close it in an effort to consolidate Atlantic City’s deteriorating casino and gambling market.

The New Jersey State college had been interested in purchasing one of the many closed casinos and it was long thought that their preferred choice was that of the Atlantic Club Casino, located on Boston Avenue near the boardwalk, but it is not clear as to why that never happened.

The loser in the Revel Casino bid, Florida real estate developer Glen Straub, also had plans to turn the billion dollar hotel and casino into a new university, but eventually lost out to Brookfield Asset Management who also own the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas as well as Paradise Island in the Bahamas and plan to reopen the casino.

Speaking on the proposed sale of the Showboat, Caesars CEO Gary Loveman said that the deal would be able to help Atlantic City’s economy evolve beyond the gaming industry.

“The transformation and revitalization of Atlantic City requires the addition of a diverse set of reasons for people to come visit”.

There has long been talk of diversifying Atlantic City and turning it into a world class resort town. However, city officials have so far struggled to transform the city’s fortunes and find uses for all the shuttered buildings, which include shop fronts as well as casinos.


George King
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