Atlantic City's newest development is not a casino.
Opened in late June, the Playground is a smorgasbord of restaurants, retail and nongaming entertainment. There's an Apple store. A row of indoor live music venues, called "T Street," inspired by Memphis' Beale Street, stretches along the first floor. Once the final stages of development are complete, a private beach club will grace the sand, accompanied by two pools, including one on the roof.
The new project, designed by world renowned casino architect Paul Steelman, occupies the Pier Shops complex at Caesars, a 300,000-square foot space jutting out onto the beach from Atlantic City's boardwalk.
"I vowed I would never do it because I have a beach house [in the area] and I didn't want to mix business with pleasure," said Bart Blatstein, chief executive of Tower Investments, the Playground's Philadelphia-based developer. "But then, this was too good an offer to pass up."