Major Rollercoaster, Entertainment Venue Proposed in Atlantic City

A proposed “vertical” rollercoaster for the Atlantic City Boardwalk has caused a stir as it comes just as the resort is trying to diversify its attractions. The news also came as Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein announced that his plans for a major entertainment venue at the city’s former Ocean One Pier Mall are still on track for a July 4 opening.

Florida-based developer Joshua Wallack has reportedly met with Atlantic City officials—including Mayor Donald Guardian—about a proposal to build a major amusement rollercoaster on a site near the Atlantic City Boardwalk.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein unveiled plans for a major entertainment venue in the resort on the site of the former Ocean One Mall—later called the Shops at Caesars—that is scheduled for a July 4 opening.

The Philadelphia Business Journal reported that the developer Joshua Wallack of Wallack Holdings met with Guardian and Atlantic City Councilman Frank Gilliam Jr. to discuss construction of a “combined vertical roller coaster.”

Wallack is currently developing a $460 million entertainment complex in Orlando. For Atlantic City, he is proposing construction of a combined vertical roller coaster, or “polercoaster,” and drop tower structure.

The attraction would most likely be located on the site of the former Sands Atlantic City casino-hotel, which is currently owned by Pinnacle Atlantic City, the Journal reported citing unnamed sources. Though a cost has not been announced, the coaster could be open by spring 2017.

“We have interest in building an incredible polercoaster on a prime boardwalk site conditioned upon receiving certain economic incentives from local and state authorities, as well as an approved redevelopment plan and any other regulatory approval that we need,” Wallack said.

Wallack is developing the $460 million Skyplex entertainment complex in Orlando, Fla. It will include a 460-foot-tall SkyFall drop tower, a 570-foot-tall SkyScraper polercoaster, a 600-foot SkyFly zipline attraction, and Sky Plaza, an open-air promenade.

The report comes just as Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein has announced some of his plans for “The Playground” development he is building at the former Ocean One Mall on the Boardwalk.

Blatstein says the venue is still planning a July 4th weekend opening—possibly as early as June 26—and would be a major non-casino attraction for the city.

Blatstein announced that restaurateur Jose Garces, who ran several very successful restaurants at the now-closed Revel casino, will provide all the food at the new venues at The Playground. Stephen Starr’s Buddakan and Continental restaurants will also remain at the site.

Philadelphia music booker Bonfire Entertainment will book the music throughout the venue. The first floor of the mall is being transformed into “T Street” a series of food/bar and music spots that will be anchored by a central “Monkey Bar” and includes a 2,000-capacity music venue named “39N.”