The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World was opened to the public in December 2000 and no expense was spared by the developers, Emfuleni, in this spectacular beachfront development. To begin with there are two new sea-facing hotels, The Courtyard Suite and Road Lodge and these overlook Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth.
The sprawling public gardens were inspired by the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen and 500 palm trees, 857 texture plants and 112,000 shrubs were used to create a pleasing atmosphere for visitors to relax near the cascading fountains. A local sculptor, Keith Calder, was commissioned by The Boardwalk to create the mermaid and the 2 dolphins that form the heart of the fountains. As well as the 400 surveillance cameras there are 5 kms of lights comprising 25,000 light globes. This mini city reminds one of Disneyland in Florida. The complex is open 24 hours a day with 1456 free parking bays.
A conference centre which seats 350 persons is equipped with the latest audio-visual wizardry and features private banqueting chambers for visiting delegates.
The amusement park offers children and the not so young a wide variety of open-air rides. There is also an indoor amusement center with some of the latest games. Five movie theatres in the complex provide a choice of big screen entertainment.
Around the huge man-made lake there are restaurants and coffee shops that offer pavement café-style seating along the waterfront with views over the lake to the gardens and Amphitheatre – an open-air entertainment venue seating up to 1000 people on tiered seating and grassed banks.
There are fast-food outlets with quaint names such as: Cosmic Candy, Milky Lane, Sweets from Heaven, 34 degrees South. A Chinatown section comprises Oriental restaurants serving a variety of Eastern dishes such as Malay, Thai, Chinese and Japanese.
A major attraction is the Boardwalk Craft Centre that provides stalls for talented artists and crafts persons to display their wares and provides visitors with the opportunity to find the “perfect” gift for a friend.
Inside the Casino itself there is a 130-seat sports bar with a big screen for sports fans to watch the current test matches locally and overseas via satellite. For friends and family there is a piano bar and the flagship Bayside Pantry buffet restaurant serves dinners around the clock.
There are 700 state-of-the-art slot machines and 20 tables at The Boardwalk Casino where you can win or lose a million. For those not so keen on risking their hard-earned savings, there is the Magic Company, which offers chairplanes and jet rides, a go-cart track, fairground rides, bumper boats and an adventure golf course.
The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World is open all the time and the 25,000 lights create a fairytale wonderland at night. It reflects the grace and style of a bygone era with a classic red and white building, reminiscent of the Grand Floridian at Disney World.
TEXT: R Hift
PHOTOGRAPHS: Leon Hugo
The Feather Market Hall was originally built to house ostrich feather auctions.
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3 October 2012 7:51