Over the last 27 years, the Showboat in Atlantic City has been a fixture on the boardwalk. Once the weekend draws to a close, the doors of the Showboat Atlantic City will be shut for good. As more and more casinos find themselves struggling to bring in people, the parent company of the Mardi Gras-themed casino, Caesar’s Entertainment, made the tough decision to close down.
For the last 16 years, Caesar’s Entertainment has operated the Showboat Atlantic City hotel and casino. With competition increasing, and more and more casinos struggling to make a profit, Caesar’s decided that now was the right time to shut the doors. By the end of September, what was once a town of 12 casinos will be reduced to eight.
Since the beginning of the year, the city has lost the Atlantic Club back in January and the Showboat Atlantic City as of August 31. In the next few days, the newest casino built, Revel, will also be shutting down operations. The fourth casino to be closed is Trump Plaza, which will have its last day in mid-September.
As the operations draw to a close, thousands of workers will now be out of jobs. For the Showboat in Atlantic City, closing the doors means that over 2000 people will now be unemployed. Only about 470 of the Showboat employees have been able to receive transfers to other casinos owned by the parent company.
When the casino first opened its doors in 1987, they were more than just a hotel and casino. This was a destination location. With a bowling alley, restaurants, and what was basically a resort type feel, the Showboat in Atlantic City was a one of a kind gem on the boardwalk. It was the casino that broke the mold and stood out from the crowd.
Now all that is left is a soon-to-be-empty building. While the many individuals who will be losing their jobs see no positivity to this news, the casino industry is hoping that these closures actually boost business in the remaining casinos. With Caesar’s Entertainment still operating three casinos in the city, Caesar’s, Bally’s and Harrah’s, the hope is that less competition will allow the remaining businesses to see an increase in profits.
While some patrons question the closing of the Showboat Atlantic City and Trump Plaza, many others have already stated their intentions to keep coming back. As Labor Day weekend draws to a close, some longtime customers will have to find a new place to spend their money. Atlantic City may be changing, but there is a sense of hope for the future. With less competition amongst the casinos and the potential for these buildings to become something new, perhaps the boardwalk district of Atlantic City will experience a rebirth.
By the end of September, everything will be different in Atlantic City. There will be four less casinos than when the year started, and thousands of unemployed individuals will be looking for work once all of the closures are complete. For the over 2000 people employed by the Showboat in Atlantic City, the closing doors happens today.
By Kimberley Spinney