The plight of your lavishly highly-priced but bankruptcy-bound Revel indicates greater than just the future of one particular casino. Additionally, it signifies the potential loss of a essential ingredient in the desperate city’s blueprint for recovery.
With Revel’s economic challenges, inquiries abound concerning Atlantic City’s capability to alter its image as more than just a location to gamble. The architects of a reimagined Atlantic City – a single that would counter gambling competitors from Pennsylvania and elsewhere – saw Revel as a more diversified destination.
It was to provide more than just gambling. It would give a sumptuous, Las Vegas-style expertise. And that was the game plan, supported exuberantly by Gov. Christie and strategized by marketers and tourism experts.
The high-quality Revel would dovetail having a new tourism district, big-name entertainment, as well as a bid for conventions.
Now that main piece in the remodeling of Atlantic City is in doubt. Revel mentioned Tuesday that it would seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. If Revel tanks, so, as well, may possibly considerably with the vision of Atlantic City as a year-round resort.
Revel ranked 11th amongst 12 Atlantic City casinos in January, with significantly less than $8 million in gaming income. For comparison, Parx casino in out-of-the-way Bensalem took in $40.1 million in January from slots and table games.
“This is definitely disappointing, but it is just not unexpected,” State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) stated on Wednesday. He has criticized Revel’s economic efficiency for months. The $2.four billion casino – essentially the most high-priced ever constructed in New Jersey – received greater than $300 million in state construction funding.
“The bottom line is the fact that we have to produce Revel operate,” Sweeney said. “It is also essential to Atlantic City along with the surrounding area to not see it turn about. Whether or not that turnaround takes place by means of this bankruptcy filing, new management, or both remains to be seen. But a thing has to alter.”
Revel is Atlantic City’s initial completely non-smoking casino. It has 10 swimming pools, 14 restaurants with celebrity chefs, a retail gallery, two nightclubs, two theaters, lounges, plus a spa and was intended to bring in affluent overnight prospects who liked to perform greater than just gamble.
“Revel’s financial reorganization will set the stage for them to extra proficiently compete in Atlantic City, exactly where there’s huge good modify,” stated Liza Cartmell, president on the year-old Atlantic City Alliance, that is charged with rebranding the resort by focusing on non-gambling activities.
Cartmell features a important part within a five-year, $130 million “Do AC” marketing campaign. She tried to soften the influence of Revel’s bankruptcy plans. She ticked off some recent accomplishments: The Borgata became the very first casino inside the United states of america to supply in-room gaming. New investors are becoming sought for the Atlantic Club and Trump Plaza. There is expansion in the Stroll, the outlet buying mall, and at the Steel Pier. Hotel occupancy prices happen to be strong. New public art programs are becoming introduced.
“All of those expansions and investments with each other are made to accelerate the long-term development of Atlantic City, beyond the reliance on gaming revenue,” Cartmell said Wednesday. “We are nevertheless on the path to regaining our position as a tourism destination.”
Beneath the bankruptcy filing, the $2.four billion Revel will rely much more on creditors’ funds to prop it up. It intends to file to get a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy by mid-March. Bankruptcy could present $250 million in debtor-in-possession financing, with about $45 million in new dollars commitments.
Revel is carrying a groaning debt load of $1.two billion.
Guests at Revel on Tuesday mentioned they knew the casino was possessing monetary problems.
The bankruptcy filing came “so quickly,” stated Vishal Vikram, 31, an IT manager from Edison, N.J., as he checked into 1 of Revel’s 1,400 rooms to get a two-night keep. “It charges lots to develop this.
“I assume the issue is you’ll find just as well many casinos here and [in] other states. Numerous clients just would like to drink and gamble and do not require a resort.”