In our ongoing coverage of the plight of Atlantic City we recently reported on the arrival of new musical venues (read that here) and improvements to a major casino (Tropicana; read that here). These developments are all being done (or were done) in the supposed spirit of bringing this eastern entertainment mecca back to life. Now, there’s more to report; a change in direction in the rehabilitation of Atlantic City. Whether that change in direction is good or bad, you tell us.
As some of you might know, last year the shuttered Showboat Casino was acquired by Stockton College (a New Jersey institution) with the thought that the former casino could serve some other purpose than being exclusively reserved for gaming.
Indeed, there was scuttlebutt that the former casino could serve as a branch site for the college and that it would bring educational opportunities to the city by the sea. Great idea? Apparently not or, at least not a feasible one in the eyes of some. Now, the leaders of the university have hired a law firm to conduct a “comprehensive investigation” into the school’s proposed sale of the shuttered casino. In fact, the school’s Board of Trustees approved a contract just this week to engage a law firm to explore the sale of the property which apparently was prompted, at least in part, because of insurmountable obstacles facing a requirement that the defunct hotel only be used as a casino.
So, is Showboat simply a failed experiment or, a lost opportunity? Well, as a hint to an answer, there now appears to be interest to sell the property to a Florida investor. However, the idea of a college town (or actually hotel) in Atlantic City was certainly a different one. Should there have been a solution to the restriction of solely gaming? One has to wonder. But for now, it appears that the plan is gaming as usual and only gaming. That’s fine but memo to A.C., not all life is fun and games.