Atlantic City ‘Playground’ to Include Bowling Venue

by Bob Johnson 0

There hasn’t been much good business news coming out of Atlantic City in recent years, as a sluggish economy conspired with the nationwide expansion of gaming to shutter a number of the city’s iconic casinos.

But now, Philadelphia-based developer Bart Blatstein has announced that he intends to redevelop Atlantic City’s Pier Shops at Caesars, rechristen it “The Playground,” and fill it with music venues — including one with bowling lanes, tentatively called Bart Bowl.

About half of the current luxury mall on the pier property is empty, much of that space now earmarked for venues that Blatstein says will evoke Beale Street in Memphis, 6th Street in Austin, Texas, and Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

To view renderings of the Playground, including the bowling facility, go to:

Much of the redevelopment is expected to be completed by July 4, while an end-of-year opening is planned for Bart Bowl.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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