Revel Casino began closing its doors in Atlantic City Monday, becoming the second of three casinos in the city to close in a two-week span. The Showboat Casino Hotel closed its doors Sunday and Trump Plaza Closes September 16.
Revel opened just two years ago with high hopes of revitalizing Atlantic City’s gambling industry. Unfortunately, the $2.4 billion casino failed to do so. Fox News notes that the casino has seen two bankruptcies in two years, and no one is willing to buy the property and keep it open as a casino.
Analysts and competitors have blamed Revel’s demise on bad business decisions and a misunderstanding of the Atlantic City casino customer. Mark Juliano, president of Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania and the former CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts in Atlantic City, stated:
“The timing of it could not have been worse. The financial climate while Revel was developing and when it opened are completely different.”
The massive casino broke ground right before the Great Recession. It ran out of funds halfway through construction and was forced to drop plans for a second hotel tower. When it opened in April 2012, the casino was so mired in debt that it couldn’t turn a profit to cover expenses.
The Revel casino closing isn’t surprising for frequent guests, notes ABC News. Andrew Tannenbaum, who has stayed at the casino a dozen times, stated, “It’s kind of sad. Compared to other casinos, this was a lot nicer.”
Tannenbaum added, “I think they overspent, went overboard and got in over their heads.”
Revel was supposed to be a totally different resort than others in Atlantic City. Rather than focusing on gambling, it was meant to be a seaside pleasure palace. That included a total smoking ban that alienated many gamblers. It also did not have a buffet or daily bus trips too and from the casino. While those decisions were reversed eventually, it came too late.
Customers also had issues with the resort’s design, according to Joe Lupo, senior vice president of the Borgata. Entering from the Atlantic City Boardwalk, customers had to take an escalator up four flights to reach the casino floor. From there, the property had a circular layout, rather than the linear layout most casinos feature.
Lupo added, “Revel struggled with the execution of plans to develop their market, as well as with their design and just a basic understanding of the Atlantic City visitor.”
While the Revel Casino’s closing will hurt the area, the property owners hope to find a buyer for the property after it ceases to operate as a casino.
[Image: New York Post]