Showboat Atlantic City

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Showboat Atlantic City
Showboat Atlantic City.jpg
View of Showboat from the boardwalk
Location Atlantic City, New Jersey
Address 801 Boardwalk[1]
Opening date March 30, 1987
Closing date August 31, 2014
Theme Mardi Gras
Number of rooms 1,331[2]
Total gaming space 127,978 sq ft (11,889.5 m2))[3]
Signature attractions House of Blues
Casino type Land-based
Owner Stockton University
Renovated in 2003, 2007

The Showboat Atlantic City was a hotel and casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It operated from 1987 to 2014. It is now owned by Stockton University, which plans to convert the complex into a satellite campus, but is prevented from doing so by competitor casinos and other legal complications.[4][5][6][7]


On March 30, 1987, the Showboat Hotel, Casino and Bowling Center opened with a 60,000 square feet (5,600 m2) casino and a 60-lane bowling alley,[8] The complex was built on land leased from Resorts International,[9] just north of the under-construction Resorts Taj Mahal. The grand opening ceremony featured Bob Hope and Al Hirt.[8]

The Showboat opened the city's first racebook in 1993, following the legalization in 1990 of casino simulcast wagering.[10]

Steelman Partners completed a major renovation in 1995, creating a Mardi Gras theme.

In 1998, the property's parent company, Showboat Inc., was purchased by Harrah's Entertainment, now Caesars Entertainment.

With the popularity of bowling on the decline, the bowling alley was closed in 2001, and the space was used for a new buffet and a coffee shop.[11]

In May 2003, the Showboat added a 544-room, $90 million hotel tower called the Orleans Tower. In 2007, the hotel remodeled its original tower, the Bourbon Tower.

In the past decade, many improvements were made to the establishment, including a new hotel tower and a House of Blues on the boardwalk, along with a complete renovation of the boardwalk facade.

In June 2014, Caesars Entertainment announced the planned closure of the Showboat, even though the property was profitable. The move was made in an effort to stabilize Caesars's other Atlantic City casinos.[12][13] After a buyer could not be found, the Showboat closed on August 31, 2014, at 4:00 PM. It employed 2,100 people, but 470 of them were immediately hired at other Caesars casinos.[14] The shutdown came amid a wave of closures of Atlantic City properties, with four of the city's casinos closing in 2014.

On December 13, 2014, the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (later renamed Stockton University) purchased the Showboat for $18 million, with plans to develop a full-service residential campus awarding undergraduate and graduate degrees and other professional training programs.[15][16]



Showboat Gaming Floor

Showboat had a 3,500 sq.ft. spa, a fitness center, a pool and two gift shops. Prior to the addition to the House of Blues, shows were performed in two venues, either the Mardi Gras Showroom or Mississippi Pavilion. Bob Hope was the first headliner at the resort. Other headliners included Phyllis Diller, Charo, The Judds, Ray Charles, The Spinners, Jack Jones, Alan King and Willie Nelson. Smaller Las Vegas-style revue shows were also sporadically booked in the Mardi Gras Showroom. The opening of The House of Blues in 2005 saw the entertainment bookings ranging from Elvis Costello to the White Stripes to Erykah Badu.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Property Record for 801 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ
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  8. ^ a b Donald Janson (March 31, 1987). "12th casino hotel opens, with 60-lane attraction". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-12-13. 
  9. ^ George Anastasia (February 11, 1986). "Hearing focuses on Resorts as a redeveloper". Philadelphia Inquirer. 
  10. ^ Mike Farrell (May 29, 1993). "Casino welcomes horses". The Record (Bergen County, NJ).   – via HighBeam (subscription required)
  11. ^ Joe Bob Briggs (January 9, 2002). "The Vegas Guy: Showboat Atlantic City". UPI. Retrieved 2014-12-13. 
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  15. ^ Forand, Rebecca (December 12, 2014). "Stockton buys Showboat for $18 million, creating 'Island campus'". South Jersey Times. Retrieved 2014-12-12. 
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Coordinates: 39°21′42″N 74°25′5″W / 39.36167°N 74.41806°W / 39.36167; -74.41806