Showboat closes after 27 years in Atlantic City

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

27 PHOTOS
atlantic city - updated 9/1/14
See Gallery
Showboat closes after 27 years in Atlantic City
A man places a hat at a small shrine on The Boardwalk outside the closed House Of The Blues club at the Showboat Casino Hotel Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. The show is ending for the Showboat Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. The Mardi Gras-themed casino is shutting down at 4 p.m. Sunday after 27 years on the Boardwalk. Owner Caesars Entertainment is closing the still-profitable Showboat to reduce the number of casinos in Atlantic City, which has been struggling with plunging revenue and increased competition. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
A security guard blocks entrance to the closing Showboat Casino Hotel Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. The show is ending for the Showboat Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. The Mardi Gras-themed casino is shutting down at 4 p.m. Sunday after 27 years on the Boardwalk. Owner Caesars Entertainment is closing the still-profitable Showboat to reduce the number of casinos in Atlantic City, which has been struggling with plunging revenue and increased competition. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Employees gather as security guards block entrance to the closing Showboat Casino Hotel Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. The show is ending for the Showboat Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. The Mardi Gras-themed casino is shutting down at 4 p.m. Sunday after 27 years on the Boardwalk. Owner Caesars Entertainment is closing the still-profitable Showboat to reduce the number of casinos in Atlantic City, which has been struggling with plunging revenue and increased competition. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Long time employees Denise Miller, facing camera, 24 years, and Gloria Panameno, 27 years, hug as they leave the closing Showboat Casino Hotel at four-in-the-afternoon Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. The Mardi Gras-themed casino is shutting down at 4 p.m. Sunday after 27 years on the Boardwalk. Owner Caesars Entertainment is closing the still-profitable Showboat to reduce the number of casinos in Atlantic City, which has been struggling with plunging revenue and increased competition. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
A large crowd gathers on The Boardwalk at the entrance of the closing Showboat Casino Hotel at four-in-the-afternoon Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. The Mardi Gras-themed casino is shutting down at 4 p.m. Sunday after 27 years on the Boardwalk. Owner Caesars Entertainment is closing the still-profitable Showboat to reduce the number of casinos in Atlantic City, which has been struggling with plunging revenue and increased competition. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Revel Casino and Hotel, left, is seen near Showboat, the Mardi Gras-themed casino that shut down after 27 years on the Boardwalk, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. Showboat was one of three casinos closing within the next two weeks as Atlantic City deals with the impact of increasing competition from casinos in neighboring states. Revel will begin a two-day closing Monday, and Trump Plaza is closing Sept. 16. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Workers put closed signs on the entrance of the Showboat Casino Hotel, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. The show is ending for the Showboat Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. The Mardi Gras-themed casino shut down Sunday after 27 years on the Boardwalk. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Workers put closed signs on the entrance of the Showboat Casino Hotel Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. The show is ending for the Showboat Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. The Mardi Gras-themed casino is shutting down at 4 p.m. Sunday after 27 years on the Boardwalk. Owner Caesars Entertainment is closing the still-profitable Showboat to reduce the number of casinos in Atlantic City, which has been struggling with plunging revenue and increased competition. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
This July 24, 2014 photo shows several lights burned out in the illuminated facade of the Trump Plaza Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. On Tuesday Aug. 5, 2014, Donald Trump sued Trump Entertainment Resorts, seeking to force the company to remove his name from its two Atlantic City casinos, Trump Plaza and the Trump Taj Mahal, alleging the company had allowed the casinos to fall into disrepair and tarnish the real estate mogul's personal brand. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
Members of the congregation react to a preacher's sermon during a prayer service Wednesday Aug. 20, 2014 in Atlantic City N.J. for the nearly 8,000 casino workers who will lose their jobs in the next few weeks. Revel, the Showboat and Trump Plaza are all shutting down by mid-September. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
The Showboat Atlantic City hotel and casino is seen next to the Trump Taj Mahal in an early morning fog Wednesday, July 23, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Christian and Jewish clergy members gather at a Baptist church in Atlantic City N.J. on Wednesday Aug. 20, 2014 at a prayer service for the 8,000 casino workers set to lose their jobs in the next few weeks. Revel, the Showboat and Trump Plaza are all shutting down by mid-September. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
Bishop James Washington of the New Shiloh Baptist Church in Atlantic City N.J. leads a prayer service on Wednesday Aug. 20, 2014 for the 8,000 casino workers set to lose their jobs soon. Revel, the Showboat and Trump Plaza are all shutting down by mid-September. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center back to camera, greets protesters, mostly casino workers, before a town hall meeting Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, in Ocean City, N.J. Christie is vowing to do everything he can to help laid-off Atlantic City casino workers find new jobs. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
This Wednesday, July 23, 2014 photo, people relax on a high deck at the Revel Casino Hotel near the neighboring Showboat Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J. The state Gaming Enforcement Division gave final approval to Revel's shutdown on Sept. 1 and 2, signing the order on Tuesday night and releasing it on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. Showboat and Revel are due to close over Labor Day weekend, with Trump Plaza shutting down on Sept. 16. The shutdowns are part of a rapid unraveling of Atlantic City's gambling market, which began the year with 12 casinos, but will have eight before summer ends. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
This Wednesday, July 23, 2014 photo shows the Showboat Casino Hotel, left, and the Revel Casino Hotel along the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J. The state Gaming Enforcement Division gave final approval to Revel's shutdown on Sept. 1 and 2, signing the order on Tuesday night and releasing it on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. Showboat and Revel are due to close over Labor Day weekend, with Trump Plaza shutting down on Sept. 16. The shutdowns are part of a rapid unraveling of Atlantic City's gambling market, which began the year with 12 casinos, but will have eight before summer ends. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino towers over Vera Coking's three story rooming house Wednesday, July 23, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. The decrepit boarding home owned by the Atlantic City woman who has been turning down multi-million dollar offers for the building in the shadow of Trump Plaza since the 80’s is now up for auction. With a reserve price of only $199,000, the fate of the house has gone down along with the city’s casino industry. On July 31, the property, at 127 South Columbia Place, will go up for auction. As recently as eight years ago, Donald Trump was willing to pay at least 10 times that amount so he could expand Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Revel Atlantic City, left, stands next to the the Showboat Atlantic City Hotel and Casino in this aerial photograph taken over Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Casinos in Atlantic City will pick up about half of the revenue from the $2.6 billion Revel resort after it closes next week, according to Fitch Ratings. The company also said in a report today that the city will retain more than 60 percent of money generated at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino and 75 percent at Caesar's Showboat when they go dark in the coming weeks. Photographer: Kevin P. Coughlin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Buildings stand near the shore in this aerial photograph taken over Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Casinos in Atlantic City will pick up about half of the revenue from the $2.6 billion Revel resort after it closes next week, according to Fitch Ratings. The company also said in a report today that the city will retain more than 60 percent of money generated at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino and 75 percent at Caesar's Showboat when they go dark in the coming weeks. Photographer: Kevin P. Coughlin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
From the foreground: Trump Taj Mahal Atlantic City, the Showboat Casino Hotel and Revel Atlantic City stand in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., on Thursday, August 28, 2014. Once the East Coast's gambling hub, Atlantic City has suffered as casinos opened in neighboring states including Pennsylvania and New York after they legalized gambling or expanded betting to increase tax revenue. Revel announced it will close its doors for good Tuesday September 2, 2014 at 5:00am. Photographer: Kevin P. Coughlin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Claridge Hotel and Casino, left, and Bally's Atlantic City Hotel and Casino stand in this aerial photograph taken over Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Casinos in Atlantic City will pick up about half of the revenue from the $2.6 billion Revel resort after it closes next week, according to Fitch Ratings. The company also said in a report today that the city will retain more than 60 percent of money generated at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino and 75 percent at Caesar's Showboat when they go dark in the coming weeks. Photographer: Kevin P. Coughlin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Buildings stand near the shore in this aerial photograph taken over Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Casinos in Atlantic City will pick up about half of the revenue from the $2.6 billion Revel resort after it closes next week, according to Fitch Ratings. The company also said in a report today that the city will retain more than 60 percent of money generated at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino and 75 percent at Caesar's Showboat when they go dark in the coming weeks. Photographer: Kevin P. Coughlin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Revel Atlantic City, right, stands next to the the Showboat Atlantic City Hotel and Casino in this aerial photograph taken over Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Casinos in Atlantic City will pick up about half of the revenue from the $2.6 billion Revel resort after it closes next week, according to Fitch Ratings. The company also said in a report today that the city will retain more than 60 percent of money generated at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino and 75 percent at Caesar's Showboat when they go dark in the coming weeks. Photographer: Kevin P. Coughlin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CORRECTS TO REFER TO HOME BIRNBAUM'S PARENTS LIVED IN The home, center, where Charlie Birnbaum was raised is seen Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. Birnbaum, 67, who turned his love for the piano into a job tuning pianos in Atlantic City's casinos is fighting the state's attempt to take his home in the shadows of the failed Revel Casino Hotel through eminent domain. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority wants to take the home where Birnbaum parents lived, and where his mother was killed, even though the casino is closing next week. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
The Showboat Atlantic City Hotel and Casino stands in this aerial photograph taken over Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Casinos in Atlantic City will pick up about half of the revenue from the $2.6 billion Revel resort after it closes next week, according to Fitch Ratings. The company also said in a report today that the city will retain more than 60 percent of money generated at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino and 75 percent at Caesar's Showboat when they go dark in the coming weeks. Photographer: Kevin P. Coughlin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Revel Atlantic City, right, stands next to the the Showboat Atlantic City Hotel and Casino in this aerial photograph taken over Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Casinos in Atlantic City will pick up about half of the revenue from the $2.6 billion Revel resort after it closes next week, according to Fitch Ratings. The company also said in a report today that the city will retain more than 60 percent of money generated at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino and 75 percent at Caesar's Showboat when they go dark in the coming weeks. Photographer: Kevin P. Coughlin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


By WAYNE PARRY

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - The show is over for the Showboat Casino Hotel.

The Mardi Gras-themed casino shut down Sunday after 27 years on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. It was one of three casinos closing within the next two weeks as Atlantic City deals with the impact of increasing competition from casinos in neighboring states. Revel will begin a two-day closing Monday, and Trump Plaza is closing Sept. 16.

One of the final songs piped in over the Showboat's loudspeakers: Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust."

"We're all feeling a little betrayed," Showboat cook Curtis Wade said. "We're all walking around in a fog today. We worked really hard to try to keep it operating, and we're still profitable. We still don't understand why we were the one targeted to close, and nobody has given us an answer on that. There are too many jobs being pushed out of Atlantic City due to corporate greed."

Wade will be among the thousands of workers showing up at the Atlantic City Convention Center on Wednesday for a mass unemployment filing.

The Showboat's owner, Caesars Entertainment, closed the still-profitable casino to reduce the number of casinos in Atlantic City, which has been struggling with plunging revenue and increased competition in the saturated northeastern U.S. casino market.

The Showboat stopped admitting new customers at 3 p.m. Sunday. At 4 p.m., security guards emerged to tape to the glass doors paper signs that read, "Closed."

Inside the casino, recordings urged customers to patronize Caesars Entertainment's three remaining casinos in Atlantic City: Caesars, Harrah's and Bally's.

Caesars Entertainment CEO Gary Loveman wrote in a letter to employees that the Showboat has been in business in Atlantic City for 27 years and Caesars was proud to operate it for 16 years.

"I want to thank the Showboat Atlantic City team for their dedication, professionalism, and commitment to our guests - both throughout the years and especially over the past several weeks," he wrote.

Ruth Ann Joyce, who worked at Showboat as a bartender since the day it opened on March 30, 1987, was bitter on its last day.

"For 36 years (Atlantic City's casinos) were the cash cow," she said. "Now you're just going to kick us to the curb?"

She urged potential buyers to take a chance on the Showboat - as long as Caesars doesn't put the same kind of deed restriction prohibiting a new owner from running it as a casino as it has with two recent sales of former casino properties.

Outside the Showboat, a security guard who had been preventing would-be customers from entering was greeted by a longtime customer who came to say goodbye and ask how the guard was doing.

"I got a job at ShopRite," the guard replied.

More than 470 of the Showboat's 2,000-plus workers are transferring to other casinos the company owns in New Jersey or in other states.

The Showboat was designed as a New Orleans-style riverboat casino with a Mardi Gras theme. It even had a bowling alley for folks who needed a break from the slot machines and table games.

Kurt Williams, of Seaville, was a young boy when his family took him to the Showboat soon after it opened.

"There was a fun vibe to the Showboat, especially for a wide-eyed young kid like me at the time, and it was the only resort in town that had a bowling alley," he said. "It's really a shame all these resorts are going belly up, and I feel awful for the surrounding communities and the families it will affect."

Elizabeth Scarnati, of Cortland Manor, New York, is still excited about a $12,000 jackpot she won last year playing slots at the Showboat.

"I always loved this little casino, especially those suites in the Bourbon Tower," she said. "I was lucky enough to stay in the one on the top floor, oceanfront, with the wraparound balcony. I will miss the Mardi Gras casino a lot."

Atlantic City began the year with 12 casinos, but before summer is over it will be down to eight. Nearly 8,000 casino workers will have lost their jobs.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners