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Showboat hotel will open the Atlantic City Fan Expo on Memorial Day weekend, a 150,000-square-foot facility aimed at experiential entertainment. It is a catch-all for anything and everything millennial visitors might want, according to a press release from Meet AC.

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Showboat to open 150,000-square-foot facility aimed at millennials this summer

{child_byline}STEVE HUGHES

Staff Writer

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ATLANTIC CITY — Showboat Atlantic City is staking its flag as the millennial hot spot in the city this summer.

On Memorial Day weekend the hotel will open the Atlantic City Fan Expo, a 150,000- square-foot facility aimed at experiential entertainment.

The facility is a catchall for anything and everything millennial visitors might want, according to a press release from Meet AC.

The project is run by Venturis Partners, an Indiana-based company, and will be open every weekend during the summer.

Inside it will have esport competitions, board games, video games, cosplay and anime, along with educational seminars.

Showboat owner Bart Blatstein said the project is aimed at a younger demographic that is one of the largest in the world and that it will help Atlantic City continue to grow nongambling attractions.

“Gamers and esports is the largest sport in the world,” he said. “It crosses all lines — male, female, all languages and backgrounds.”

Blatstein said he began researching the idea of a gamer-focused project months ago, traveling to South Korea and Japan to learn more about the industry.

Outside the facility, a sandlot beer garden will be opening at the former volleyball court, with live music, movies and family entertainment, according to the release.

Derek Pew, a partner in Venturis Partners, said it will be a unique production.

“We wanted to create the most perfect shore experience we could — some place we would want to spend all our time and some place our children would want to spend all their time,” he said in a statement.

The facility will also take over the former House of Blues theater. The concert hall will become a 3,000-person arena for esports tournaments, similar to the one recently held at Caesars. The idea is to make the facility central to the increased interest in gaming in the United States.

“It will evolve over time and grow organically,” Blatstein said.

ACFX launches its website www.acfxpo.com at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

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Contact: 609-272-7090 SHughes@pressofac.com Twitter ACPress_hughes

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