AC’s Atlantic Club Getting A Family-Friendly Makeover As Water Park Resort

The Atlantic Club has not opened its doors in over three years, but the Atlantic City resort could be getting a new lease on life and an interesting makeover. A new group recently agreed to buy the shuttered casino and convert it into a water park and family entertainment center.

R&R Development Group bought the property from current owner TJM Properties for an undisclosed price. TJM bought the nonoperational property from a Caesars Entertainment affiliate for $13.5 million in 2014.

R&R pledges to invest $135 million for refurbishing Atlantic Club

The sale price was likely low, but R&R plans to invest some serious money in turning the Atlantic Club into the forthcoming Dolphin Village at Atlantic Club. The company plans to invest $135 million into the project. The property will feature all the glitz and glamour of an Atlantic City casino, just without the casino part.

“The hotel will feature important restaurants and entertainment venues that will host many family-oriented activities and entertainment events year-round,” Young said, adding the former Atlantic Club would become a “must-see” property again,” Nick Young, managing partner of R&R, told the Press of Atlantic City. “Where can a high-roller send his kids? This complements every casino in the city.”

The water park and hotel will be managed by S&L Hospitality. The group’s other projects include several smaller hotels in Wisconsin and Florida. The group does have extensive experience overseeing hotels with a water park component on property, like The Waters of Minocqua.

Both R&R and Atlantic Club have history with water parks

This is not the first time either R&R and the Atlantic Club have flirted with the notion of a water park.

In 2015, TJM tried to partner with a Pennsylvania firm to turn the Atlantic Club property into a $150 million water park. The project failed to secure enough funding, the project fell through and the casino’s doors stayed closed.

While TJM tried to turn the Atlantic Club into a water park, R&R was trying to turn the old airport site Bader Field into a similar indoor/outdoor water park, theme park and hotel. The company was one of four groups that submitted a plan for Bader Field to the city. Another proposition came from TEN AC owner Glenn Straub, who wanted to turn it into a destination for aviation entertainment like hot air balloons and air shows.

The city ended up not moving forward on any of the Bader Field plans. The city auctioned off the property last August, but bids were disappointing.

Is Atlantic City on the road to recovery?

The Atlantic Club sale is the latest business deal bringing new life to the Boardwalk. Recently Hard Rock International purchased the Taj Mahal Casino, which has been closed since October. Nearby Showboat closed its doors as a casino resort only to reopen as a casino-less hotel. Meanwhile, Straub is still attempting to reopen the former Revel property as TEN AC. The Atlantic Club is just the latest closed casino getting a new lease on life.

Granted, this is not the first rebranding for the property, which has been the Golden Nugget, Bally’s Grand Hotel, Hilton and ACH Resort during its long history in Atlantic City.