Key influencers, he says, can change
the game for A.C. “We need celebrities...
to tweet out about their experiences in
Atlantic City,” he says.
That won’t happen overnight. The city
has been tarnished by casino closings
and this year’s talk of a state takeover in
the face of its financial woes. Unemployment and the perception of crime are
Blatstein knows the terrain. As a child,
he summered with his family in Atlantic
City, and he has had a summer home with
his family in nearby Margate for 13 years.
He seems unfazed by the city’s financial
woes. “I’m optimistic,” he says. “Atlantic
City will be transformed.”
Blatstein plans to add more to his A.C.
holdings. He says the largely vacant land
north of Revel—the area known as South
Inlet—is screaming for development.
“The infrastructure is good in A.C.,” he
says. “It has to be taken advantage of.
Look at the marina. It’s doing well. The
Borgata is a great property. Harrah’s is
good. You have the Golden Nugget there.
But we have some emptiness here. We
need a reason for people to come to the
At one time, many hoped Revel would
provide that reason, but the Showboat’s
neighbor closed after just 28 months.
“Revel is the worst-designed building
I’ve ever seen,” Blatstein says. “There are
so many reasons it failed. How can you
have a casino on the Boardwalk and not
be able to enter it from there? How can
the lobby be on the sixth floor? How can
you have a casino but not have one eleva-
tor open to it?”
Despite all that, Blatstein hopes the
Revel, which new owner Glenn Straub
purchased last year, will succeed the
second time around.
And what if Blatstein’s newly acquired
properties don’t attract the crowds he
predicts? “Then I’ll have the greatest
beach house on the entire island,” Blat-
stein says. “Who can top this?”
The sun is glinting off the Atlantic.
The weather has changed, and Blatstein
believes A.C.’s luck can change as well.
“Don’t bet against me,” he says. “Come
back in a few years and you’ll see what
this town turns into.”
Ed Condran is a freelance writer based in
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