Students at Stockton University could be housed in a non-gambling hotel on the Atlantic City boardwalk as the university works to meet COVID-19 guidelines.

Stockton is finalizing an agreement with Showboat Renaissance LLC for the use of up to 400 hotel rooms at the Showboat Atlantic City Hotel to house students in the fall 2020 and spring 2021.

The deal is meant to help Stockton fill a need for additional housing as it implements state COVID-19 guidelines that reduce the number of students allowed to live in existing on-campus housing.

“Stockton promises to provide housing to all students who request it,” Stockton Executive Director of Residential Life Steven Radwanski said in a statement. “This agreement ensures that we will have sufficient housing based on current demand.”

About one-third of Stockton’s roughly 10,000 undergraduates typically live in student housing, the university said.

Freshmen will be housed only in on-campus housing. But other Stockton University students would occupy up to 300 single rooms and 100 double rooms at the hotel. They will cost $4,500 per semester for a single and $3,800 per semester for a double, which the university says is competitive with similar on-campus housing.

The Showboat will also set aside 250 parking spaces for students. And the students who reside at the Showboat will have free access to the hotel’s fitness facility, entertainment lounge with billiards and ping pong tables, the roof-top pool deck and a fully equipped business lounge. Students will also have access to meals at the Showboat and their rooms will have a microwave and mini-fridge.

“We are thrilled to partner with Stockton to enhance the college experience in Atlantic City,” said Brandon Dixon, President of Tower Investments which owns Showboat. “Students can now room at the Showboat and enjoy all the amenities of the hotel and its Boardwalk location, while living at a treasured icon of local history. Having the students here will also bring a new exciting energy to the north side of the Boardwalk.”

The Showboat closed due to bankruptcy in August 2014. Stockton University bought the hotel four months later for $18 million and planned to use it as a the Stockton-Island campus. But the institution sold it a year later to Philadelphia Developer Bart Blatstein for $22 million because conflicting legal regulations prevented Stockton from doing what it intended with the site.

The university will have staff living at the hotel and Showboat will set aside space at the front desk for Stockton personnel.

This is not the first venture the Showboat has undertaken to develop itself into housing.

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority approved a plan in 2018 for the Showboat to convert 400 hotel rooms into 264 market-rate apartments, leaving the hotel with 785 rooms. The apartments are contained within one of the hotels three towers.

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Allison Pries may be reached at [email protected].


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