R&R Development Plans to Re-Open the Atlantic Club as Dolphin Village Water Park
The R&R Development Group announced it purchased the closed Atlantic Club Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. R&R plans to turn the building into an indoor water park and go-cart track.
Ronald Young, the CEO of R&R Development Group, said his company plans to invest $135 million into a construction of a water park and renovations on the Atlantic Club. Those renovations include updates to 300 hotel rooms, which Young expects to open by fall 2017.
The new attraction will be called Dolphin Village. The owners plan to appeal to families, so they expect their water park will be welcomed by the other Boardwalk casinos.
Mr. Young said of his company’s plan, “We are going to complement every casino here. People are going to love this.”
Plans to Open in 2018
Ronald Young plans for the construction of the water park to last 12 to 14 months, meaning it should be ready for its grand opening sometime in the spring of 2018. On the former gaming space, Dolphin Park is going to feature a go-cart track. Indoor go-cart racing has become an attraction in many major American cities, often as part of a wider games and leisure attraction. Dolphin Park also is going to have a “world-class” arcade in it, as well.
The Atlantic Club was bought from TJM Properties, the Florida-based real estate company which bought the property from Caesars Entertainment. Caesars and Tropicana combined to buy the Atlantic Club in a bankruptcy auction, then divided its assets. Tropicana collected most of the gaming equipment, while Caesars owned the title to the building.
Robert Reilert Involved
The new ownership has a connection to Caesars Entertainment. Robert Reilert, who is Ronald Young’s partner in the Dolphin Park venture, was the former general counsel for Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian said Dolphin Village plan was in the works for over a year. Originally, Young and Reilert came to the city’s leaders with a water park development at a different location in the city, but that location proved unworkable.
Mayor Guardian said of the current plan, “However, I believe that this new location and timing are much better to assure success.”
Atlantic Club Information
The Atlantic Club is one of the storied casinos in Atlantic City. The resort was opened by Steve Wynn as the Golden Nugget Atlantic City in 1980. The Golden Nugget was a big attraction in the early 1980s. Frank Sinatra did a commercial for the casino in which he gave Steve Wynn $5 and told him to make sure he had towels.
By 1987, Steve Wynn had disagreements with city officials and decided to concentrate on his upcoming revolutionary projects in Las Vegas, so he sold the Golden Nugget for the cash to build in Las Vegas. Wynn sold to Bally Manufacturing, which renamed the casino Bally’s Grand Hotel and Casino. The casino continued in operations under that name from 1987 to 1998.
In 1998, Bally sold to Hilton Hotels Corporation and the casino was renamed Atlantic City Hilton. At a point in 2012, Hilton was in talks to sell to a group which included PokerStars, but that company’s Black Friday issues kept the purchase from happening. The casino’s name changed again in 2011-2012, when Hilton shortened its name to ACH. The company renamed the resort once again to the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, the name it kept until it closed in January 2014.
Closed Atlantic City Casinos
Three of the five closed Atlantic City casinos look as if they’ll have life beyond their closures. Trump Taj Mahal recently was sold by Carl Icahn to Hard Rock International, the gaming company owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Revel Casino’s owner, Glenn Straub, is having trouble with casino licensing, but clearly plans to open a casino-resort in the indeterminate future. Trump Plaza might never reopen, but the Showboat was bought by a Philadelphia development, who plans to reopen the building as a non-gaming business.
About the Golden Nugget Casino
People might be confused by the fact the Atlantic Club once was known as the Golden Nugget, but a Golden Nugget Casino operates in Atlantic City at present. The new Golden Nugget Casino is owned by Landry’s, the vast corporation which 44 different restaurant brands. Landry’s owns such dining chains as Saltgrass Steak House, Claim Jumper, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Morton’s The Steakhouse, T-Rex Cafe, Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse, Rainforest Cafe, McCormick’s & Schmick’s, and (of course) Landry’s Seafood.
Landry’s Inc. is also the owner of hotels, landmarks, attractions, aquariums, cruise lines, and 5 casinos nationwide with the name Golden Nugget. Those casino are located in Las Vegas, Laughlin, Lake Charles (Louisiana), Biloxi, and Atlantic City.
Trump’s Castle Era
The Atlantic City casino which is now named Golden Nugget Atlantic City was opened in 1985 as Trump’s Castle. The property was planned by Hilton Hotels, but when Barron Hilton grew tired of New Jersey regulators, he sold the unfinished casino to Donald Trump (who later would name his youngest son for Barron Hilton). The casino was named Trump’s Castle until 1997, when it was renamed Trump Marina in 1997. In 2011, Trump Marina was sold to Landry’s Inc., which renamed the casino the Golden Nugget Atlantic City.
Under Landry’s ownership, Golden Nugget has become a successful Boardwalk property. While partnering with SugarHouse Online Casino on its Internet gaming site, Landry’s and SugarHouse signed licensing deals with IGT, Bally Technologies, WMS Gaming, and Konami. This has turned the SugarHouse/Golden Nugget online casino into the number one grossing casino website in the New Jersey gaming market.
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