June gave way to July, with no progress. And now it’s August, with no sign that the resort will reopen any time soon, even on an extremely limited basis.
So what’s the hold up for what was once supposed to be the gem of the AC boardwalk?
Revel owner: Ask the government
According to the owner of the shuttered AC property, the blame does not fall on Revel. The resort is being made to “jump through unnecessary hoops,” Revel owner Glenn Straub told NJ.com, and that’s why it is still closed:
“Government, government, government,” charges Florida real estate developer Glenn Straub.
Straub claims the building was ready to open a month ago. But his company, Polo North Country Club, had not secured the permits it needed to reopen the property at that time — and it still has yet to do so.
Among the hoops Revel must clear? It needs to get a “certificate of land use compliance.” There will be a hearing later this month, with a Casino Reinvestment Development Authority board meeting on the issue in September.
Revel had tried to cut down for the process, but the CRDA denied an appeal that led to the lengthy timeline.
Revel’s sweet summer is gone
What does all of that mean? Summer will be over before Revel can even consider reopening. Will Straub be anxious to reopen in the fall or winter, when things are already slower in AC?
It seems likely at this point that even with the necessary government approvals, there may not be a rush to get the Revel open at this time.
Even when it was scheduled to be open in June, Revel was looking at what was going to amount to a “soft launch” with hotel rooms and limited amenities available.
Casino gambling was not a part of the initial plan, and likely will not be on the agenda soon. Straub’s plans are for Revel to focus on the resort aspect, although he is applying for a gaming license and there will be gambling options.
Meanwhile, nearby Showboat already did what amounts to a soft opening of its resort, sans gambling.
Can Revel still open its doors?
It doesn’t seem like Straub is purposely trying to keep Revel from opening, and certainly AC isn’t it either. The town could use good news as it fights financial woes — including the city itself trying to remain solvent and the announced closure of the Trump Taj Mahal.
There seems to be a consensus that reopening Revel and Showboat primarily as not gaming properties will be good for the city.
The Press of the AC certainly thinks so. From a house editorial:
Bart Blatstein has managed to open the Showboat Hotel at the height of the summer season, a great development for a city that needs good news. …
We hope Straub gets at least part of Revel open soon and builds upon that.
Will Revel be open later this year, or at all? We’ll learn how realistic that might be this fall.