Bart Blatstein, Showboat Prepare To Celebrate Island Waterpark’s First Anniversary



ATLANTIC CITYBart Blatstein said he didn’t quite know what to expect when his multi-million-dollar Island Waterpark at Showboat opened at his Showboat Hotel last July 4.

As one of the largest indoor waterparks in the United States completes its first year, Blatstein can hardly contain his glee over its success and leaked out his desire to even expand the facility to meet the needs and expectations of visitors.

Island Waterpark, which sits a stone’s throw away from Atlantic City’s historic Boardwalk, has drawn “hundreds of thousands” in its first year. A warmer-than-usual winter and robust Spring Break season turned out to be advantageous for the family entertainment facility.

“In some regards, I didn’t know what to expect and in other respects, it was what I had hoped for,” Blatstein told Front Runner New Jersey this month. It has been very well received. We are getting a lot of referrals from the casinos, which has been great. Some have traveled up to three and four hours away to be there and that’s very flattering.”

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.

The fun never stopped for adults and young people at the waterpark, which includes a 6,500-square-foot lazy river, a 1,000-square-foot surf simulator, pools, shopping, party rooms, lounge areas and more than a dozen water slides.

Blatstein’s memory of Atlantic City growing up was that of a family-friendly city. So despite naysayers shaking their heads about building something as family-friendly as a waterpark, Blatstein was convinced it would work.

Photo of Brandon Dixon courtesy of Tower Investments.

His Philadelphia-based Tower Investments, and his President Brandon Dixon transformed the former casino into a special hotel-residential facility that also houses the world’s largest arcaade.

“We keep adding and experimenting,” Blatstein said. “We keep getting comments about how beautiful it is and how clean it is, with the landscaping and the trees.”

Blatstein said one of the things he learned early on was how important it was to lessen the smell of chlorine at the facility and made it a point to focus on that issue.

“That was important to me, because if the smell of chlorine is too strong, people may not stay very long,” Blatstein said. “We keep the smell of chlorine down to a minimum. We have some fancy events at the waterpark and we couldn’t have those if it felt like a waterpark.”

Indeed, Island Waterpark has become a multi-use facility, hosting live music events along with special gatherings. The Island Waterpark and Showboat Hotel will host The Peach at the Beach Festival on July 13, an event that has been held in Scranton, Pa. in the past.

Blatstein said he has just recently started talking to his staff about what to do for Island Waterpark’s one-year anniversary. He praised park director Ryan Flynn in putting together a great staff “that takes a lot of pride in their work.” He said he will continue to listen to customers and not be afraid of trying new things.

Blatstein remains bullish on Atlantic City and believes the best is yet to come.

“In my career, Atlantic City is the biggest sleeper I’ve ever seen,” Blatstein said. “I believe you’re going to see explosive growth in different kinds of development over the next 12 months in residential and mixed-use developments.

“You really have all the infrastructure here and the utilities. You have the beach and the boardwalk and people like the water. It’s a natural.”

Atlantic City now has a world-class waterpark, a one-year-old “tropical oasis of fun” with many fun and exciting years to come.

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