The Showboat Hotel Atlantic City unveiled its inaugural indoor pickleball court on Thursday. City officials, alongside local leaders and other stakeholders, participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Showboat’s pickleball court, situated adjacent to the entrance of Island Waterpark and the new Island Bar.
“Outpouring Of Support”
Bart Blatstein, the proprietor of the Showboat Hotel and CEO of Tower Investments based in Philadelphia, showed his enthusiasm for the sport, stating, “I was turned onto the sport over a year ago, and I can’t believe the outpouring of support, and how many people just want to play pickleball because it’s easy,”
Blatstein, who has hit the court on a weekly basis since his wife introduced him to the sport, mentioned that colleagues like Larry Sieg, President & CEO of Visit Atlantic City, and Patrick McCormick, Director of Sales at Visit Atlantic City, are also avid players.
They all engaged in a match with Alex Greer, the founder and CEO of Funky Pickle Productions, who assisted Blatstein in setting up the Showboat’s pickleball court.
Mayor Marty Small Sr. of Atlantic City commented, “Bart expressed his desire to attract more people, both locals and visitors, and pickleball is a family-friendly attraction. It is the fastest-growing sport worldwide.”
He also lauded Blatstein for introducing attractions like the Showboat’s Lucky Snake Arcade, the Raceway indoor go-kart track, and the Island Water Park.
“Bart said, ‘I want to, you know, get more people here, more locals and everything, and pickleball is a family attraction.’” said Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. Small also gave his thanks to Blatstein for proving Atlantic City with a “Dave and Buster’s on steroids.”
However, this is not the city’s inaugural venture into pickleball courts. The city previously installed outdoor pickleball courts at Bader Field last year and had plans for cricket nets, though, as city spokesperson Andrew Kramer noted, “it wasn’t getting a lot of initial use, and the net was taken down.”
Kramer further added, “Our recreation department is actively exploring other locations in the city for future courts as the sport continues to gain popularity.
“In the meantime, we are very excited for the opening of the pickleball court at Showboat.”
Hosting Tournaments And Instructional Clinics
Blatstein also talked about how he was trying to incorporate new non-gaming attractions on his property to appeal to families and locals alike.
He highlighted that the pickleball court provides an excellent workout and serves as a family-friendly option.
“We can’t wait to host tournaments, instructional clinics, post-play social gatherings, and other pickleball entertainment,” he said.
Greer expressed his excitement about installing the acrylic-surfaced pickleball court at the Showboat and expressed hope for additional courts if this one proves successful.
“We’ll start with one, but if it does well and there’s a demand for it, we’ll see if we can add another one,” he stated.
Complimentary One-Hour Sessions
He pointed to the recently opened Proshot Pickleball court in Egg Harbor Township and the Pickle Juice courts in the Ventnor Plaza on the island as indicators of the region’s growing interest in pickleball.
Complimentary one-hour sessions will be available for the next month with prior reservations to commemorate the court’s debut. Paddles can be rented, and pickleballs will be available for purchase.
The court is open to individuals of all ages, including both the general public and hotel guests, though an adult must accompany minors under 14.
Mayor Small expressed his enthusiasm for Blatstein’s latest venture and hinted at more exciting developments on the horizon: “If you think this is good, wait until you see what he does next.”
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