Firm eyes possible purchase bid for former Showboat casino as restaurant-entertainment complex

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ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey — A Florida company that develops restaurant and entertainment complexes is interested in the former Showboat casino in Atlantic City.

Latitude 360, a Jacksonville company, said Friday the newly closed casino is one of three locations in Atlantic City it is considering for a $20 million project that would be paid for in conjunction with a financial partner. It would not involve gambling.

Company CEO Brent Brown said he has toured the former casino, which closed on Sunday, and has been in talks with its owner, Caesars Entertainment.

"We feel Atlantic City is a perfect location for us," he said Friday. "The food and beverage component there is very strong."

Caesars officials said the property can still be had.

"We have consistently said that we would entertain reasonable offers for the property from credible buyers with access to the required capital," the company said in a statement. "Our position on this has not changed."

Latitude 360 has locations in Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Albany, New York, and is planning one near Minneapolis. The sites are based around a restaurant and have a sports bar, movie theater, bowling alley and live performance stage.

Brown said it's possible that a project at Showboat could utilize its hotel as well, if that is the location he chooses.

It is the second firm to publicly express interest in the Showboat.

Atlantic Properties Group of Vineland, New Jersey, had considered a smaller casino use for the property. Company officials could not be reached for comment Friday about their current plans.

The Showboat closed on Aug. 31, shuttered by Caesars in the name of reducing competition in the saturated Atlantic City and northeastern U.S. casino markets.

It is one of three Atlantic City casinos to have closed this year, along with Revel and the Atlantic Club. A fourth, Trump Plaza, will close on Sept. 16.


Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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