Revel Atlantic City
|Revel Atlantic City|
Revel seen from the boardwalk
|Location||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Opening date||April 2, 2012|
|Closing date||September 2, 2014|
|Number of rooms||1,399|
|Total gaming space||150,000 sq.ft.|
|Signature attractions||Poker Room
Ivan Kane's Royal Jelly Burlesque
|Owner||Revel Entertainment Group|
Revel Atlantic City was a casino, hotel and resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States. Revel was the northernmost casino on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, located on 20 acres (8.1 ha) of land, adjacent to the Showboat Hotel & Casino. Revel opened on April 2, 2012, and became the third of four casinos in 2014 which closed on September 2, 2014 after declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the second time. Later that month, on September 11, 2014, the casino reached a deal to sell itself to a developer based in Florida – Polo North Country Club - for a fee of $90 million. However, plans fell though and Revel was sold at the September 30, 2014 auction to Brookfield Asset Management for $110 million. However Brookfield Management backed-out of this deal on November 19, 2014.
Design and construction
Revel's hotel tower is the tallest structure in Atlantic City and the second tallest in the state of New Jersey at 57 stories, and the second tallest casino tower in the United States. Arquitectonica was the design architect of the project. BLT Architects was the executive architect for the entirety of the project and architect-of-record for 75% of the facility. Tishman Realty & Construction, which served as construction manager for The Borgata, performed the same role at Revel. Scéno Plus, a Montreal-based design firm, aided in the conceptualization and implementation of Revel's 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2) casino. In the summer of 2008 the project was officially scaled back to include just one hotel tower with 1,900 rooms due to lack of financing. In March 2009, construction was stopped because of difficulties in raising the financing necessary to complete the project. Revel resumed construction in February 2011 after new financing was secured, and opened with 1399 rooms.
Revel featured two nightclubs, 13 restaurants, two live entertainment venues (which featured acts like The Eagles, Beyonce, Rihanna and Maroon 5), and multiple swimming pools. The resort featured a 2-acre (8,100 m2) landscaped rooftop deck containing a few outdoor pools, cabanas, fire pits and a "pine grove" (known as Sky Garden) with more than 30,000 live trees and plants. The casino was located six stories above the ocean, and a three-story nightclub overlooked the lobby. Revel was completely smoke-free upon opening, but the casino announced in early 2013 that it would create a smoking area.
Revel Atlantic City had 130,000 sq ft (12,000 m2). of gaming space, more than 2,500 slot machines, and 120 table games. The casino was separated into several areas, including the following.
- Poker Room – Revel's poker room closed in August 2013.
- Table Games – Featured over 120 table games, including blackjack, craps, mini-baccarat, roulette, Let It Ride, Big Six wheel, three card poker, four card poker, Fortune Pai Gow poker, and Spanish 21.
The casino had 3 main restaurants—Amada, a Spanish tapas restaurant, American Cut, a steakhouse, and Azure by Allegretti, which specializes in French and Italian coastal cuisine. Revel offered less formal dining options, including Alcove (breakfast), Corso Coffee (coffee and pastries), Distrito Cantina (Mexican take-out), Lugo Cucina e Vino (Italian), Luke's Kitchen & Marketplace (sandwiches, hot dogs, and fast food), Mussel Bar (mussels and imported beers), Relish (24-hour diner), Sky Cafe (eclectic; overlooks ocean), Village Whiskey (burgers), and Yubōka (Asian noodle bar).
A tower crane on the Revel construction site collapsed in high winds on March 13, 2010, injuring one person on the ground. On March 20, 2010, the use of welding torches to remove the collapsed crane sparked a rooftop fire. The damage from the fire was minor, and there were no injuries.
Lightning from a brief but intense storm struck three concrete workers on September 15, 2011, killing one. On September 30, 2011, a worker was listed in critical condition with a head injury after falling off a ladder. On September 10, 2012, a customer was severely injured at Revel when he fell off an escalator to the floor 40 feet (12 m) below.
Financial problems and closure
Construction of the resort cost $2.4 billion. Global financial company Morgan Stanley, the owner of 90% of Revel Entertainment Group, decided in April 2010 to discontinue construction and put its stake in Revel up for sale and walk away from its $932 million investment. On February 1, 2011, as part of his plan to revitalize Atlantic City, Governor Chris Christie announced that the State of New Jersey would invest $260 million in the stalled project in exchange for 20% of the revenues. On February 17, 2011, Revel Entertainment Group, LLC announced that it completed a $1.15 billion financing package which enabled the company to complete construction of Revel.
Revel lost $35 million in the 2nd quarter of 2012, and lost $37 million in the 3rd quarter of 2012. In August 2012, Moody's Investor Services and Standard and Poor's downgraded Revel's credit to Caa2 and CCC, respectively. On August 20, 2012, Revel asked lenders for a $100 million credit cushion. In November 2012, casino officials warned federal regulators about growing debt load of more than $1.3 billion could lead to bankruptcy or foreclosure if revenues did not increase in the foreseeable future. Atlantic City officials noted that Revel owed $12 million in unpaid property taxes, and Unite Here Local 54 said that Revel owed $51 million to contractors. A month later, Revel stated that they had received another $150 million in loans, including a $125 million term loan and a $25 million increase to an existing $100 million revolving loan.
In early 2013, because of uncertainty about whether Revel would have enough revenue to pay back its loans, Moody's and Standard and Poor's downgraded Revel's credit rating again to Caa3 and CC, respectively. On February 19, 2013, Revel announced that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The prepackaged bankruptcy will include immediate payment of all priority claims (e.g., vendors, taxes), and the reduction of Revel's debt from $1.503 billion to $272 million in exchange for the transfer of all of Revel's equity to the creditors. As part of their bankruptcy filing, Revel declared that the casino's value had dropped from $2.4 billion to $450 million, and predicted that Revel would not be profitable until 2017. In an attempt to attract more business, Revel has created a smoking area and reduced hotel room prices, and plans to create an inexpensive food court, and a private lounge for high rollers.
On June 19, 2014, Revel once again filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition, warning of closing in early September if a buyer was not found.
The hotel, resort, and casino closed permanently on September 2, 2014. Revel Hotel and Casino was the third Atlantic City casino to close in 2014, after Showboat Hotel Casino closed on Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 4:00 pm - following the Atlantic Club Hotel Casino. The hotel was closed on September 1, 2014 at 11:00 am and the casino was closed the next day at 6:00 am. All reservations after September 1 were canceled and room deposits were automatically refunded. All Revel guests (self and/or valet) were required to remove their parked cars from the facility by 9:00 am on September 2. Toronto-based Brookfield US Holdings LLC won a bankruptcy court auction for Revel on October 1, 2014 and plans to re-open it as a casino. It submitted a bid of $110 million in an auction. A bankruptcy court hearing to approve the sale was scheduled for October 7, 2014. An opposing bidder, Florida developer Glenn Straub, was selected as the backup bidder in case the Brookfield bid did not close on the deal. However Brookfield Management backed-out of this deal on November 19, 2014.
On September 8, 2014, NFL running back Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely following release of video by TMZ showing him assaulting his fiancée in an elevator at Revel earlier in the year. The publication of the security video forced the Ravens and the NFL to revisit their positions on the matter, leading the league to extend Rice's suspension (formerly for 2 weeks) and the team to release him. The only public video before September 8th, 2014 was from outside of the elevator and showed Ray Rice dragging his unconscious fiancée partially out of the elevator before a hotel employee stopped to help them.
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- "Disclosure Statement for the Joint Plan of Reorganization of Revel AC, Inc. and its Debtor Affiliates Pursuant to Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code". EDGAR (Security and Exchange Commission).
As part of the bankruptcy, (a) $10 million in bankruptcy fees, and $22 million in administrative and priority claims will be paid immediately; (b) all of Revel's equity will be transferred to lenders; (c) 3 loans with $1.503 billion in principal and interest will be converted to a 5-year $260 million term loan, and a 4-year $12 million revolving loan, both with quarterly payments; (d) Revel will have minimal cash balance, and access to an additional $63 million in revolving loans.
- Wayne Parry (March 26, 2013). "'Upscale' Revel N.J. casino files bankruptcy". USA Today.
- "Bankrupt Revel casino warns it might close down this summer". Associated Press. June 19, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
- Callan, James (August 12, 2014). "Revel Casino in Atlantic City to Close Next Month". Bloomberg. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- "Thousands out of work in Atlantic City as big casinos shut doors". Atlantic City News.Net. 1 September 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
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