Plans to turn the Atlantic Club into a water park have fallen through for the second time in as many years. The Florida-based TJM Properities said announced on Thursday that a deal to sell the property to local investors was called off, due to the fact that the company, led by investor Ronald Young, failed to meet a Monday deadline to have financing secured.
The casino industry in Atlantic City has taken a serious blow over the past few years due to the increasing popularity of online casinos and gambling. The Atlantic Club was the first of five casinos forced to close in recent years. Although, the past year has shown serious signs of improvement, the announcement of this deal to transform the vacant club casino into a water park are discouraging.
Young’s original plans to turn the shut down casino into a family-friendly hotel and indoor water park were reported to be a $135 million deal. A new family friendly water park would surely be a welcome site in place of the casino skeleton that stands today. Dale Schooley, director of acquisitions for TJM, expressed his disappointment in Young’s inability to uphold his end of the deal.
TJM is based in Ventnor, N.J. and is known for creating the Great Wolf Lodge, and a number of theme parks elsewhere. One would expect a company with that type of resume to be capable of providing the funds necessary to seal a deal such as this. To add insult to injury, this is not the first time this deal has fallen through. A different group had plans to turn the existing Atlantic Club into a water park, but these plans also failed to get the funding needed to move forward.
The previous deal was made in January of 2016 with Endeavor Property Group. The company, based in Ambler, Pennsylvania, announced its plans in 2015 for converting the Atlantic club into a non-casino resort. The plans included an 81,000-square-foot, indoor-outdoor water park.
Schooley shouldn’t be worried, however. There are a number of buyers still interested in the property and they have reason to believe a deal could be reached in the near future. In the past week the property was shown four times. That being said, Young hasn’t ruled himself out as a potential buyer, as he plans to make a renewed bid.
Young went further than that saying he’ll do whatever it takes to make a deal with TJM for the property, suggesting he may even seek public support.