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Massive Resort Water Park Sign Project in Atlantic City

NJ-based Nova Industrial Arts completed the far-reaching this past summer for the opening.




IMPROMPTU SALES VISITS can work. Nova Industrial Arts’ (Mount Holly, NJ) getting the job for an enormous number of signs and other decorative items for “Island Water Park” at Showboat Resort Atlantic City came about because Nova’s CEO George Kennedy cold called on James Rockar and Martin Sizmur of Tower Investments (Philadelphia).

This was a design build project with the owner, branding consultant and design firm. Philadelphia-based Groundswell Design Group provided design for the project. Nova did design work on the changes and additional requests after contract. SOSH Architects (Atlantic City, NJ) was the architect for the project and Nova worked closely with them on changes and approvals. 

The project scope included all exterior and interior signage, architectural and theming elements, starting with exterior signage:

  • One 90-ft. backlit and face-lit 3D surfboard that reads “Island Water Park” on the front of the building facing Atlantic Ave., just next to the massive slide at the waterpark
  • Two 55-ft. backlit and face-lit 3D surfboards to read “Island Water Park” for the boardwalk side of the building, mounted to the glass tower on the boardwalk

All interior signage and wayfinding signs are digitally printed to appear like beach-weathered signs. For the front entry corridor were these:

  • “Island Water Park” backlit and face-lit channel letters and discs with 3D wooden oars
  • 60 surfboards suspended from ceiling with names of NJ beach towns applied with vinyl lettering
  • Focal Maritime wall created from 300 vintage maritime relics, beach items, row boats, fish, lobster pots and signs.

A second entryway featured oak-veneer clad columns with recessed lighting, wooden rowboats and genuine surfboards with vinyl lettering naming NJ beach towns. The next section was a 14 x 36-ft. rolled-aluminum powder-coated archway with recessed lighting, florals and vines.       

A boardwalk façade features these elements:

  • 10 LED-lit vintage/reclaimed-style boardwalk store signs
  • Faux façade above signs printed vinyl on ACM to replicate aged, distressed wood, window and shutters
  • 8 x36-ft. wood-veneer upright columns between stores fabricated on ACM

Architectural elements included a wood column entry tunnel, a totem pole feature, a guest-services hut, Surfer Bar, Tree House Bar, 18 cabanas fabricated from aluminum and powder coated, 4 mani-pedi and meeting pods fabricated to match with glass privacy doors, Swim Up Bar and L Bar arches structures fabricated with white powder coated aluminum.

Finally, the mezzanine bar involved steel fabricated steps with oak treads, railings of rolled powder-coated aluminum with glass inserts, oak banquette benches with upholstered cushions and more.


“We loved the designs and concepts, but not all really fit the project’s budget,” a spokesperson for Nova says. “We were able to be innovative and value engineered some dimensional items with printed images. For example, the façades of the concession stand are printed images of weather-beaten wood and wood shingles…which is hard to tell they are printed, even standing right next to them.”

The design changes were minimal from the time of award (Feb. 2023) until the park opened (June 30, 2023). Many signs and architectural elements were added throughout the process.

Many talented craftspeople took four months to fabricate the signs, using, in part, the following equipment: AXYZ CNC router, Haffner Cutting Saw, Boss Laser, Mimaki JFX 200-2513 and UCJV 300-160 digital printers, Eagle and RAS bending machines.

“The biggest challenge was the extremely aggressive timeline and working within the elements,” the company spokesperson says. And the greatest temptation? “Avoiding falling into one of the pools and indulging in the lazy river!”

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