The Atlantic City Dream Is Dead
The Revel Hotel and Casino—better known as the Jersey Shore's last, desperate attempt to hide its stale cigarette smell with a spritz of cloying eau de toilette—lost big today. The still-shiny-and-new $2.5 billion property plans to shut down next month, confirming once and for all that the Atlantic City dream is dead.
When the Revel opened its doors just two years ago, it billed itself as a glittering resort oasis along the shore's seedy boardwalk in an unsuccessful attempt to lure visitors away from other gambling epicenters like Las Vegas, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
Morgan Stanley, which originally backed the casino, ended up taking a billion dollar loss in 2010, washing its hands of the property. But after two bankruptcies, no qualified buyers emerged (Potential offers ranged between $20 million and $250 million) and the shell of a resort finally put itself out of its misery today, announcing a mid-September closing date.
Part of the problem in luring a buyer were the insane upkeep costs, Gothamist reports:
There are property taxes, and they're hooked into this power station with the local gas company, and those two bills are $6 million a month," the source said. "So there's $72 million a year before you turn a card. That's the kind of nut you're gonna have to have somebody come in and wrestle with and still be able to have a profitable operation."
More than 3,000 people are expected to lose their jobs when the Revel shuts down next month. And that number could jump as high as 6,000—the Trump Casino also expects to close for good in September, joining the Showboat Casino, which went out of business this month and the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, which closed in January.
Atlantic City is dead. Long live Atlantic City.
[image via AP]