Atlantic City “Polercoaster” One Step Closer to Reality

The Casino Redevelopment Authority has approved the 350-foot-tall, 52,000-square foot vertical roller coaster and entertainment complex.

Earlier this month, the Atlantic City Casino Redevelopment Authority formally approved the Polercoaster, a 350-foot-tall rollercoaster and drop-tower thrill ride developer Joshua Wallack plans for part of the space formerly occupied by the Sands Casino.

The Polercoaster will be the premiere attraction at an entertainment complex which will fill the lot that’s roughly bordered by the boardwalk, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and Mount Vernon and Kentucky.

The CDRA says that in addition to the vertical rollercoaster, the venue will also have a food court, restaurant and bar, retail space, lockers, video games and office space. It will be directly accessible from the boardwalk. “This exciting, state-of-the-art interactive program will be equipped to display important announcements, advertising, upcoming entertainment and events in the city, and will add to our visitors’ positive experience,” CRDA Executive Director John Palmieri said.

Wallack told the Philadelphia Business Journal in November that the bar at his Atlantic City attraction would be based on his Mango’s Tropical Café in Florida. He also showed the PBJ his “vision” for the site in a video, which looks similar to a site under development in Florida.

That Florida site is called Skyplex Orlando, another entertainment complex with a super-tall skyscraper roller coaster, that is expected to open in 2017. (It’s a few hundred feet taller than the proposed one in Atlantic City.) Rezoning for the project was recently approved, despite opposition from Universal Studios.

Part of the site where the Polercoaster will be located was the former Sands Casino & Hotel, which also operated a moving sidewalk from the boardwalk to the casino (and to the Claridge Casino Hotel, which still exists but no longer has a casino).

The Sands closed in 2006 and was imploded the next year.

The whole Polercoaster complex in Atlantic City, the CDRA reports, will be 52,000 square feet. Wallack is looking at using EB-5 financing to fund the program, which offers foreigners visas in exchange for investing $500,000 to $1 million in a job-creating projecting.

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