3 years later, no known plan for shuttered Atlantic Club casino-hotel
ATLANTIC CITY — The first in a string of casino closures, the Atlantic Club at the southern end of the boardwalk dealt its last on Jan. 13 three years ago.
Despite its oceanfront location at a main entrance to the gambling city, the casino-hotel remains dormant with no solid signs of life in the near future.
"You have businesses down here that are losing money because when this was open, you had people going over to the restaurants," Freddie Isaac, a boardwalk tram operator, told New Jersey 101.5 outside the shuttered building.
He's a fan of the already-scrapped idea of turning the Atlantic Club into a family resort, including an indoor water park.
"Anything but just a hotel," Isaac said. "That still wouldn't cause the revenue that we need here."
The 800-room structure was sold to Florida-based TJM Properties in May 2014. TJM did not respond to a request for comment on the future of the Atlantic Club.
"A lot of things" can be done with the property, according to Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute for Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton University. He pointed to the possibility of running it as both a casino-hotel and a residential condo complex.
"I think it would certainly be something worth looking at," Pandit said. "One thing that you probably would want to add is a high-end spa."
Gaming will not likely be part of the Atlantic Club's eventual rebirth, said Levi Fox, an Atlantic City tour guide, noting the city no longer has a monopoly over gambling on the East Coast and increasing competition led to the closure of five Atlantic City casinos since early 2014.
"I think that the impending opening of the Stockton Gateway campus in 2018 will likely be a spur for others," Fox said.
The residential campus aims to expand Stockton's presence in Atlantic City and will include a parking garage, offices and retail space.
"(The Atlantic Club) is something that should not be wasted, but is something that in all likelihood would be better served by finding another purpose — not gambling — that gels better with the other redevelopment projects in that section of the city," Fox said.
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.