More than 850 hotel rooms will open at Showboat Atlantic City in July, owner Bart Blatstein said Friday.

"It's hugely exciting news," the CEO of Tower Investments said. "Tourists have been pining to visit this essential resort. Tower's making it happen."

The 852 hotel rooms coming online in July constitute the largest non-casino hotel in New Jersey, Blatstein said. They represent about two-thirds of Showboat's total room supply. The property's casino will not reopen in July.

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The reopening of Showboat, which closed in 2014, would be the second sizable Atlantic City project rapidly executed by Blatstein within the last 12 months. He opened The Playground retail-entertainment complex in 2015. He's been moving methodically to secure other key Boardwalk parcels, hoping to open entertainment venues at Garden Pier and at the site of a former volleyball court adjacent to Showboat.

Gov. Chris Christie on May 27 signed legislation aimed at remediating the finances of Atlantic City government.

"Last week our lawmakers - Senate President Sweeney, Mayor Don Guardian, Council President Small - gave investors a strong blueprint for fiscal stability," said Blatstein, a prominent Philadelphia developer with a home in Margate and other close ties to Absecon Island. "I now see a clear path and bright future for this city I love so much," he said.

A family-owned company opened Showboat Hotel, Casino & Bowling Center in 1987 on property leased from Resorts International for $6 million per year.

In 1998 the company was sold to Harrah’s Entertainment for $1.15 billion. Harrah’s became Caesar’s Entertainment, which in 2014 closed Showboat and saddled it with a deed restriction that purportedly bars the property from housing a casino.

Showboat was reporting an operating profit in its final months. Caesars, its debt-addled corporate parent, said it shut the property to stabilize the company’s other operations.

Stockton University bought Showboat in late 2014 for $18 million, intent on repurposing it into a satellite campus. The deal collapsed after Trump Entertainment Resorts, operator of neighboring Trump Taj Mahal, said it did not want underage students living next to its casino and threatened to enforce a decades-old legal covenant meant to keep Showboat a casino-hotel.

Blatstein's firm bought Showboat in January for $23 million.

A job fair at the property is scheduled for June 7 from 1 pm to 7 pm.

Employment or other inquiries about Showboat should be emailed to Info@acsbhospitality.com

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