Showboat closing set for Aug. 31

WAYNE PARRY / ASSOCIATED PRESS The Showboat, on the east end of the Boardwalk, will close Aug. 31.
WAYNE PARRY / ASSOCIATED PRESS The Showboat, on the east end of the Boardwalk, will close Aug. 31.
Posted: June 29, 2014

THE SHOWBOAT is headed for dry dock after a 27-year voyage.

Caesars Entertainment of Las Vegas yesterday made official its plans to close the Atlantic City hotel-casino Aug. 31. In a statement, Gary Loveman, the company's chairman and CEO, said:

"While we regret the impact that this decision will have on our Showboat associates, we believe this is a necessary step to help stabilize our business in Atlantic City and support the viability of our remaining operations in the vicinity.

"Since 2006, revenue in Atlantic City has declined by more than $3 billion and competition in the city has increased. The dynamic in Atlantic City has led us to the difficult but necessary decision to close Showboat."

Loveman pledged the company will help find jobs for the Showboat's 2,500 employees in its three other AyCee properties - Bally's, Caesars and Harrah's - as well as other casinos, including Harrah's Philadelphia in Chester.

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian yesterday acknowledged that while "it is painful for those who are losing their casino jobs," Showboat's closing is a sign of a town in transition, rather than a symbol of his city's ongoing decline and inevitable failure.

"Atlantic City is creating new jobs, building new attractions and diversifying our economy beyond just gaming," he insisted.

Showboat, on the eastern end of the Boardwalk, opened in 1987 as Showboat Casino Hotel & Bowling Center (it featured a 60-lane complex on its second level). In 2005, it became the local site of the House of Blues chain of entertainment and dining venues.

It will be the second casino to fold its hand this year. In January, the Atlantic Club closed due to continuing losses caused by competition in surrounding states. And unless a new buyer steps up soon, Revel Casino Hotel could be shuttered by Labor Day.


On Twitter: @chuckdarrow

Blog: philly.com/Casinotes

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