Sale of former Atlantic Club casino falls apart _ again

By WAYNE PARRY Markets Associated Press

For the second time in as many years, a deal to convert a shuttered Atlantic City casino into a water park has dried up.

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Florida-based TJM Properties said Thursday a deal to sell former Atlantic Club casino to a group of local investors is off. The company says the group, led by investor Ronald Young, failed to meet a Monday deadline to have its financing secured.

In March, Young announced a $135 million deal to buy the shuttered casino and transform it into a family-friendly hotel anchored by an indoor water park.

"We were a little annoyed they would make an announcement like that without making sure they had their financing," said Dale Schooley, TJM's director of acquisitions.

But he said the company has numerous potential buyers for the property and hopes a new deal will be reached soon.

"We showed the property four times last week, and we have two more parties interested," Schooley said. "We're very excited at the level of interest in this property."

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Young told The Associated Press he intends to make a renewed bid to buy the property from TJM.

"This is not over," he said. "I'm meeting all this week and next week to make a deal to go back and get The Atlantic Club. I'm not quitting. I'll do whatever it takes to make this deal."

That might entail seeking some sort of public support, he added.

Young said he gave himself too little time to complete the purchase.

"I made a bad decision to sign a contract to close a deal in 60 days," he said. "Try to close on a house in 60 days."

The Atlantic Club was the first of four Atlantic City casinos to close in 2014. They were joined last October by the Trump Taj Mahal, which was bought last month by Florida-based Hard Rock International and is due for a summer 2018 reopening.

The failure of Young's deal marked the second time in less than two years that a deal to convert The Atlantic Club into a water park had dried up.

In January 2016, a deal to sell the property to Endeavor Property Group fell through. Endeavor AC, a property company based in Ambler, Pennsylvania, had announced plans in 2015 to convert the Atlantic Club into a non-casino resort with an 81,000-square-foot, indoor-outdoor water park. Plans also called for conference and event facilities, a family entertainment center, new restaurants and retail space along the Boardwalk.

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