December 02, 2015
When Atlantic City developer Bart Blatstein scooped up The Pier Shops at Caesars for $2.5 million last year and retooled it as The Playground, he promised he would revitalize the venue with more music, more nightlife and more partying.
So it stands to reason that The Playground plans to go big for New Year's Eve. As in, world-record big.
The venue plans to break the world record for most Champagne bottles popped simultaneously at its New Year's Eve bash. Up to 3,500 people can attend, and each will get their own bottle to pop at midnight.
As the Philadelphia Business Journal reported, Blatstein announced two new operators for the nightlife destination in November: Brian Nagele and Brian Pugh. It's part of a larger plan to attract more people to The Playground and, in turn, Atlantic City.
The party lasts from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. on New Year's, and enticements include an open bar, dueling pianos, a 20,000-square-foot nightclub, karaoke and a 40-foot LED screen for watching the Times Square ball drop. 2,779 bottles need to pop at midnight for Atlantic City to score the world record, which was set in 2007 by an Italian bank.
Tickets range from $60 for general admission if you purchase them early to $5,000 for an Ultra VIP package, which includes bottle service for a dozen people and a limo ride from Philadelphia, New York or New Jersey.
The party helps shore up Blatstein's reputation as a major force in the Shore town. He bought the Pier Shops for $2.5 million last November, declaring to the world: "I've never picked an area that failed to turn around. This will be the greatest success of my career."
Caesars President Kevin Ortzman sued Blatstein, claiming that he had not properly paid the bankrupt company for the building, but the case was settled in April, according to Law360.
Blatstein, best known in Philadelphia for developing the Piazza in Northern Liberties, also plans to buy the Showboat Casino for $22 million from Stockton University. His plans for it have not yet been revealed, but based on what he's done with The Playground, it's clear that any all-nighters held at the building will not be related to studying.