By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
ATLANTIC CITY — The excitement could be seen not only on the faces of some of the first visitors to the impressive Island Waterpark at Showboat but on the face of Showboat’s vice president of marketing Josh Allison.
The veteran of entertainment facilities in the Bahamas, Allison said the $100 million Island Waterpark, the world’s largest indoor beachfront indoor water park, is truly one of a kind.
“This place was meant to be special,” Allison told Front Runner New Jersey.com on the official opening day of the park on Friday, July 7. The water park was set to open the weekend before but was delayed. Small groups started visiting the park on July 4 during a soft opening, leading up to Friday.
Even in the historic resort town of Atlantic City and its skyscraping casinos, the 120,000-square-foot water park under a retractable glass roof stands out. One of the things the water park is a family-first atmosphere that caters to everyone from young children to their grandparents.
“We are a family facility and will be open year around,” Allison said. “Rain or shine, sun or snow, we will be open for business.”
Adults and young people alike found fun in the 6,500-square-foot lazy river, 1,000-square-foot surf simulator, pools, shopping, party rooms, lounge areas and more than a dozen water slides.
The water park is the dream of Bart Blatstein, owner of Philadelphia’s Tower Investments and the Showboat Hotel. Blatstein, along with Tower Investments, President Brandon Dixon, has transformed the former casino into a special hotel-residential facility that also houses the world’s largest arcade facility and an indoor go-kart racetrack.
The park, which is connected to the Showboat Hotel — which sits between the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and Ocean Casino Resort — features 11 water slides on both ends of the park, including the Electric Eel, Sonic Serpent and Barracuda Blaster tube slide.
Other features include the Blue Cascade Waterfall, a man-made waterfall that is one of the largest custom water forms in the world; the 30-foot-tall Indoor Tree House that can be booked for private parties; and the Adventure Pool, where guests can play various water sports.
The Island Drift Lazy River that extends nearly the entire length of the water park where visitors ride on tube in their own leisurely trot around the facility. The Kids Cove is a play area with interactive water activities designed to keep younger guests engaged.
“Atlantic City has long been one of the most iconic destinations for entertainment geared for adults, but now the Island Waterpark at The Showboat Resort will open up a whole new world of family entertainment on the boardwalk,”
Blatstein said in a statement before the park opened. “When people see this they will be blown away; it is truly like entering a tropical paradise and the best part is that people — both kids and adults–will be able to enjoy it all year round.” For adults, the water park features a total of six bars where guests can enjoy craft beers, curated wines and signature cocktails; and Paradise Adult Island, a 10,000 square-foot space overlooking the water park and ocean that includes DJ entertainment and Bliss Pool, an adults-only pool facing the Atlantic Ocean with the only swim-up bar in Atlantic City.
The adult area includes Peloton bikes, manicure stations, chair massages, work spaces, VIP cabanas and more. At night, Island Waterpark transforms into a nightlife venue, also for adults only — the first of its kind at any water park. “No matter the weather nor time of year, every day will always be warm and sunny in the water park,” Dixon said in a statement.
“At night it also will be hot year round with nightlife entertainment for adults. “This opening rides on the success of the Lucky Snake Arcade and Raceway, and Showboat is so proud to continue to deliver the most dynamic and exhilarating non-gaming fun on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.”
Allison showed off the water park’s own “boardwalk,” which is filled with Boardwalk food stops like ice cream and pizza, along with a gift shop. He said in the future, there is the possibility of a zip line being added.
He said all the plants inside the water park are alive, meaning visitors can get a different feel for the facility every time they visit based on what plants are growing around the facility. Summer admission rates start at $89 for daytime general admission. Twilight admission starts at $69 from 4-8 p.m. Children under 3 are admitted free.
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