A southern New Jersey development group announced it will purchase the former Atlantic Club casino in Atlantic City and plans to build a “world-class” indoor water park at the property.
R&R Development Group—based in neighboring Ventnor New Jersey—said it bought the former casino with plans to create a non-gambling family resort. Partner Ronald Young told the Associated Press the group plans to invest $135 million into hotel renovations and construction of a 100-square-foot, indoor water park. The group also hopes to open 300 hotel rooms by the fall. The group plans to rebrand the property as “Dolphin Village at Atlantic Club.”
“The hotel will feature important restaurants and entertainment venues that will host many family-oriented activities and entertainment events year-round,” Young told the Press of Atlantic City.
Young had proposed a similar water park idea near the city’s Bader Field site, but that plan was not approved. He now turns to a property that was Steve Wynn’s Golden Nugget casino in the early days of gambling in the resort.
“It would have been the most fabulous thing that Atlantic City had ever done,” he told the AP of his initial proposal. “But that’s OK. This project will be a great family attraction, and the people I’m bringing in are the best at doing water parks.”
The announcement is another encouraging sign for the city. Five casinos have closed in the city since 2014, but now four of them have been proposed for new projects. The former Showboat casino is already open as a non-casino hotel. Meanwhile, Hard Rock International has bought the closed Taj Mahal casino and announced plans to re-open it. And developer Glenn Straub continues to promise he will re-open the closed Revel casino as the rebranded TEN.
According to the AP, R&R bought the property for an undisclosed price from Clearwater, Florida-based TJM Properties. The company bought the casino from Caesars Entertainment for $13.5 million in 2014. Caesars placed a deed restriction on the property saying it can’t be used as a casino. TJM will continue to hold an ownership stake in the property, Young said.
This is actually the second time a water park has been proposed at the property. Last year, a deal to sell the property to Endeavor Property Group fell through. The company had announced plans in 2015 to convert the Atlantic Club into a non-casino resort with an 81,000-square-foot, indoor-outdoor water park, according to the AP.