[toc]The first iteration of Revel Casino in Atlantic City will go down as one of, if not the, biggest mistakes in the history of the casino industry.
The ambitious hotel and casino cost a staggering $2.4 billion to build (even after it was downsized considerably) and ended up needing the state of New Jersey to bail it out – to the tune of $261 million – before it could be completed.
New Jersey received an ownership stake (20 percent) in Revel for its monetary commitment, but the casino was in the red every month from the day it opened its doors on April 2, 2012, to the day those doors were padlocked on Sept. 11, 2014. New Jersey never received a dime from the state’s $261 million investment in the property.
Revel’s new owner, Glenn Straub, is hoping to resurrect the multi-billion-dollar hotel and casino that never saw one cent of profit flow through its coffers in its short history.
Still-shuttered AC casino now has a new name
If Straub does reverse the fortunes of the New Jersey casino, he will do so under a different name, as the property is being rebranded, and will now be known simply as “TEN.”
A new website was also set up for the newly-named TEN.
According to a press release announcing the rebranding, “the TEN brand symbolizes perseverance.” The new management team plans to reopen the newly branded “TEN” in March of 2017 — although Straub has already seen several other proposed reopening dates come and go.
Said TEN spokesman Bob Labanara in a press release:
“The number ten depicts the highest standard of achievement and is widely recognized as the benchmark of quality and excellence. The TEN brand appropriately reflects its idyllic beachfront setting and complete guest experience as Atlantic City’s flagship property.
The TEN experience offers unrivaled elegance and affordable luxury for all that includes world-class rooms and suites, spas, pools, nightlife and day club escapes, gourmet dining, retail, a-list entertainment and gaming.”
The strangest part of the story (there is always a strange part of the story when Straub and Revel are the topic of discussion, from Towers of Geniuses, to courtroom drama, to exploring the property with a flashlight) is that Straub seems to have been caught unaware by the rebrand, telling Philly.com that while it was his management team (Straub referred to them as “his tenants”) that issued the press release, they did so independently of him.
“I have a tenant that goes ahead and does a press release,” Straub told Philly.com. “That’s not us doing it.”
Straub, as well as the press release, said this is all contingent on his ability to procure a gaming license.
What will be different for the newest incarnation of Revel?
Despite Straub’s grand visions for the property that have included everything from institutes of higher learning to motocross tracks, TEN sounds like it will be Revel in all aspects save the name.
A number of members of the management team date back to the original Revel, including Chief Financial Officer Alana Greenstein, who is quoted throughout the press release and spoke with Philly.com by phone, telling the paper that TEN will bring on 16 staff members who are “seasoned executives in the Atlantic City market.”
Greenstein went on to boast about the property, saying it would have 13 restaurants, a spa, two theaters, three nightclubs, a day club and five pool areas, plus 130,000 square feet of gaming space – much like the original Revel.
The one thing TEN won’t possess is a mountain of debt and an energy contract that would bankrupt a majority of nations.
According to Greenstein, the Revel power plant issue that essentially allowed Straub to buy the property in bankruptcy for pennies on the dollar has been solved. Straub bought the power plant that was supplying Revel with electricity in a deal the Revel couldn’t get out of.
Revel had borrowed the money to build the power plant and was paying interest on those loans back to the power plant.
Image credit: Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com