Bart Blatstein Says He’s Committed to Atlantic City, and Its Communities


Bart Blatstein, owner of Showboat Hotel and Tower Investments, wins President's Award from Atlantic City NAACP on April 29, 2023. Photo by Meredith Winner, Mer-Made Photography

By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media

ATLANTIC CITY — Two of the largest social events involving people of color — the three-day Black Excellence Festival this weekend, and September’s two-day Latino Festival — have both landed at the Showboat Hotel.

That is not an accident, owner of the Showboat Hotel and Tower Investment Bart Blatstein told Front Runner New Jersey earlier this month. Blatstein, whose company is on the verge of opening one of the largest indoor water parks in the country in Atlantic City next month, said he has always had a passion for getting involved in under served communities.

The Black Excellence Festival is one of the largest events happening over the Juneteenth weekend, featuring a film festival, business expo, comedy show and seminars among other activities. The Latino Festival, sponsored by the Hispanic Association of Atlantic County, is one of the largest music festivals celebrating Latino culture in the state.

“I wish I could take credit for that but Bart has always carried that feeling [of inclusiveness] through the Showboat and his other properties,” Brandon Dixon president and CEO of Tower Investment said. “He has always wanted to highlight specifically the African American community. He’s given so much money and silence to the African American community without ever speaking of it.

“He doesn’t want awards or press about it, even though I think we would want to tell everyone about all the good things he has done.”

Tower Investment is one of the major real estate developers in the East, creating more than 1 million square feet of retail, entertainment, residential and mixed-use properties in the region. His Showboat Hotel, which he purchased in 2016, is now the largest non-casino hospitality property in New Jersey.

Blatstein said he believes in Atlantic City, the historic East Coast resort town where African Americans and Latinos make up most of its full-time residents. Blatstein’s simple advice to people looking to invest is “buy in Atlantic City now while you have a chance.”

“In my 45-year real estate career, Atlantic City is the biggest sleeper I’ve ever seen,” he said. “It’s got beautiful real estate. It’s just a tank of gas away for 30% of the nation’s population. So, that’s more than 100 million people. It’s an easy drive and I’m seeing the beginning of a rebirth. I’m not wrong about these things.”

Blatstein has done more than create businesses in Atlantic City but has also invested in the community’s organizations and events, such as the Black Excellence Festival and the Latino Festival.

The Hispanic Association of Atlantic County will also hold its Nuestro Pueblo Awards program next month at the Showboat’s Garden Pier.

The Atlantic City NAACP in April gave Blatstein one of its prestigious President’s Awards at the Freedom Fund Gala for his generosity.

“Bart is the foremost example of a person who has self confident, who follows his beliefs and follows through on his statements, dreams and his proposals,” Atlantic City councilman Kaleem Shabazz, immediate past president of the Atlantic City NAACP, told Front Runner New Jersey.

“I have been singularly impressed by Bart’s demonstrated and profound commitment to Atlantic City. I am further deeply moved and impressed by Bart’s steadfast commitment to social justice, equity and inclusion. I have developed a friendship, bond and brotherhood with him because of the character, the values and the concern he has shown and that we share.”

Kaleem Shabazz at the kickoff of the NAACP national convention in Atlantic City in 2022.

In turn, Blatstein said Shabazz, a longtime Atlantic City community advocate, is one of the reasons he has such faith in the resort town.

“He is one of the major reasons I have put so much time and money into the city,” Blatstein said. “He’s a great leader and he’s like a brother to me. If he wasn’t so welcoming, understanding and helpful, I wouldn’t have put in the effort, so my hat’s off to Kaleem for being a true leader.”

As far as Atlantic City’s comeback, Blatstein said it’s “already happening,” with the help of Shabazz, Dixon and others who believe in the city. He said he expects the Island Waterpark to be one of the crown jewels of bringing a new clientele into the city.

The indoor water park one of the largest on the East Coast, is expected to open by Independence Day.

“I think people are going to be blown away by how beautiful it is,” Blatstein said. “Nationwide, it’s going to be the prettiest water park that exists in the country. It’s a big place. Studies have shown that these parks will draw people from up to seven hours away. So, it’s going to be really interesting to see the impact.

“We have a great beach, a great boardwalk, nine casinos and world-class entertainment. I think it’s going to be an unbeatable combination. It will be beautiful when it comes to a destination.”

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