casino NJ Atlantic Club

Is It Time For The Atlantic Club To Raze The Roof?

Usually the closed New Jersey casinos around Atlantic City are not too much of an eyesore. Properties like TEN are obviously vacant, but they are not exactly a trash heap either.

Most of the time The Atlantic Club does not visually draw any attention. That changed this week though when its roof unexpectedly caved in.

Roof collapse likely the result of bad weather

The good news for The Atlantic Club is that the damage was relatively minor. The interior of the property is fine. It is the port cochere roof that fell. The port cochere is the covered aea where cars can drive up to the casino doors and drop off or pick up passengers.

Press of Atlantic City reports wind and rain likely led to the roof caving in. Early Wednesday morning, the roof gave in, resulting in the Styrofoam and drywall interior of the roof landing on the ground.

No one was injured during the collapse. In fact, clean-up was fairly straightforward, with everything cleared by Wednesday afternoon. Dale Finch, the head of licensing and inspection for Atlantic City confirmed the owners would be in later this week to start the necessary repairs.

The Atlantic Club closed in 2014

The property remains unused for nearly four years. The casino closed its doors in January of 2014 after a long history and several name changes. Throughout the years, the casino’s names included:

  • Golden Nugget
  • Ballys
  • Hilton
  • ACH Casino Resort
  • The Atlantic Club

The Atlantic Club was the property’s last interation. It’s run was one of the shortest too. Not long after the casino lost the rights to the Hilton name, it transitioned to The Atlantic Club in 2012. By the end of 2013, the management announced the property was closing.

Caesars Entertainment bought the property, but quickly turned around and sold it to TJM Properties for $13.5 million.

Two different waterpark projects sink

Since then, TJM has both tried to develop the property itself as well as sell it off to other interested buyers. So far, all of the plans fell through though.

The general consensus, surprisingly, is that the property would make for a great destination hotel and indoor water park. Originally TJM planned to develop it into a casino-less hotel itself. In 2015, it tried to sell the property to a Pennsylvania firm that wanted to pursue the water park idea, but financing fell through.

Earlier this year a second group pursued The Atlantic Club to convert it to a family-friendly water park. Like before though, they could not come up with enough money to finalize the deal.

TJM claims to still be showing the property to interested buyers. However, perhaps it is time to consider whether Atlantic City can sustain another giant hotel, water park or not.

Certainly the city is doing well and casinos are rebounding. This only came after several casinos shut their doors. With Hard Rock Casino taking over the former Taj Mahal and alleged interest in TEN Resort, it might be time to consider that another resort project may not be sustainable in the Atlantic City economy.

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Image by xiquinhosilva / CC BY 2.0

Jessica Welman
- A former managing editor of WSOP.com, Jessica Welman has long been active in the world of online poker. A graduate of USC and the University of Indiana, she has also co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road and served as a tournament reporter for the WPT.