Revel Opening Delayed At Least Until September Due To “Red Tape”

Posted By J.R. Duren on August 15, 2016

[toc]Nearly a month after its most recent supposed opening date, Revel Casino’s  resort property continues to stay shuttered.

Glenn Straub, the powerful Florida real estate developer and the hotel’s CEO, is playing serious game of blame, pointing the finger the Department of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) for prohibitive red tape.

Meanwhile, the DGE is pointing to Straub’s development company, Polo North Country Club, as the cause of the delays. Permits, they said, haven’t been filed at the right time, among other missteps by the outspoken developer.

Approvals from state may come in September

NJ.com put out an update in late July about the Revel’s approval process. According to reporter Erin O’Neill, the Straub’s group submitted an application for site plan approval in late July.

The application will undergo a public hearing this week. If approved, it will then go before the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) for a full hearing on September 20, CRDA Spokeswoman Elaine Zamansky said.

Straub and his attorneys contend that Polo North doesn’t have to go to the CRDA for their hotel’s land use certification.

They also contend they should have to pay an $87,600 bill for an assessment by the CRDA’s Special Improvement District, the organization responsible for “landscaping, maintenance other services” within Atlantic City’s tourism district.

The Polo North team is alleging that the CRDA is, in essence, holding the land use certificate hostage until the assessment fees are paid.

Government the problem, Straub says

It remains to be seen if the public hearing will go well for Straub, but we’re assuming that Polo North will jump through the hoop in order to get in front of the CRDA’s board.

Should Polo North get its land use certification, it’s hard to say when the hotel will open.

Straub was pretty clear in his interview with O’Neill that the process could’ve gone much faster were it not for the “red tape.”

“If you can tell me when the government is going to quit being government, then we can tell you when we’ll be up and running,” he was quoted as saying.

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Summer already over for Revel

Straub’s initial claim was that the hotel would open on June 15, just in time for the summer rush. The failed June opening — and future openings, for that matter — will actually be a reopening.

The New Jersey casino and hotel shut down its gambling floor and closed its doors in 2014 when the A.C. economy faced some serious contraction. The total bill for the casino-hotel’s construction was $2.4 billion.

In 2015, Straub bought the property for a rock-bottom price, making headlines with his $82 million purchase.

Over the past year, Straub has made various claims about his intentions for the property, including a “university for geniuses,” a home for refugees, and an equestrian center.

Never shy of the dramatic, Straub’s claims were met with skepticism and, most likely, a few snickers.

Horses, geniuses and refugees aside, Polo North’s application for land use certification makes it seem as though Straub is moving forward with the necessary paperwork to reopen the Revel as a hotel and, perhaps in the future, a casino as well.

Image credit: Racheal Grazias / Shutterstock.com

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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has been awarded the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism prize three times. A freelance writer and author covering the legal NJ online gambling industry, J.R.’s work has appeared in numerous publications, among them Barcelona Metropolitan, Snooth, the Villages Daily Sun, Our Amazing Norway, and Bespoke Post.

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