Florida developer Glenn Straub recently spoke with New Jersey news station News 12 about the seemingly endless string of roadblocks preventing the re-opening of the shuttered property.
“It’s only politically controlled people of this state are so backwards and that’s why everybody tells (me), ‘Mr. Straub, watch yourself in New Jersey,” he said, explaining why the property is still closed more than two months after it’s projected grand opening this past June.
AC group drives sluggish process
Straub’s main beef is with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), the group responsible for granting resort owners the operational license they need to open their doors.
Obtaining that permit has turned out to be difficult for Straub, who’s dealt with a litany of on-site issues — including fire sprinklers and alarms. Problems have led to delays in getting not only the operating license, but other certifications and licenses as well.
“What is especially galling is that New Jersey is engaging in this conduct when it has imposed a strict time limit on Atlantic City putting its financial house in order,” Straub said earlier this summer.
This past July, fire alarms were the hangup for Revel. The property contains 17,000 fire alarms, all of which needed to be cleared in order to pass inspection.
Other July problems included a generator that needed a sign-off, which, apparently, was a difficult task because “two companies and one agency” were holding each other up.
Timetable cuts into developer’s pocket
Straub told News 12 the darkened halls of his massive property are a money drain. Each month Revel remains closed, he loses a million dollars.
The current plan is for the Revel to open in October, but if that doesn’t happen, Straub has said multiple times that he’s considering ditching the entire project.
Ropes course ties up permit process
Though Straub is placing the blame on the CRDA, his plans to include a ropes course in the resort have required a new round of inspections and permits.
Hotel and amenity issues fall under the responsibility of Straub’s Polo North Country Club development company, but the casino’s operations will be handled by a separate company.
Showboat doing well after re-opening
The recently re-opened Showboat is, no doubt, playing a part in Straub’s frustration over the Revel.
Closed in 2014 (like Revel) during Atlantic City’s casino contraction, Showboat opened its doors once more this past July just a few weeks after Revel was supposed to open. Showboat opened this time as a hotel without a casino operation.
“Business is great,” Showboat CEO Bart Blatstein said. “It is the best non-casino and no-smoking property in Atlantic City.”
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