Set your faces to ‘wince’
The state is set to release its monthly casino revenue data this afternoon, and everyone is watching with bated breath to see if Revel Entertainment’s dazzling beachfront gem can maybe crack Atlantic City’s top six as it completes its third month of operations (though its official opening was Memorial Day weekend). Judging by some of the headlines this morning, observers are braced for the worst.
You may recall that Revel soft opened in April with a pre-sunrise champagne toast that featured Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, in a nod to how deeply the state and Chris Christie administration are invested in this project. I thought at the time it would be the last reference to darkness that would be made at Revel, but so far, Kevin DeSanctis & Co. are still looking for a light in the east, so to speak.
Here’s a post from the last time the numbers came out. As you can see (well, infer is probably a better word) by the numbers, it looks as though Revel is stealing customers from Atlantic City’s other casinos — but it isn’t taking nearly enough of them, and far worse, new customers aren’t coming in. The hope of the glitzy, yet unfortunately named, “Do AC” campaign was supposed to reverse that, and while the ads are certainly eye-catching, so far they seem to have been as effective as vitamin C during a flu outbreak.
If there’s any hope for optimism, your glasses are probably so rose colored that they’re manufactured by Crayola, but Atlantic City is a shore town, and it’s not unreasonable to expect a boost from tourists in June, particularly with the seasonable weather we had. If beachgoers tracked some sand into Revel, that could help it get over the hump somewhat.
Part of the saving grace here has been DeSanctis’ insistence that Revel is a destination more than it is a casino. There’s an element of truth to that, but so long as it’s located in Atlantic City, it’s going to be judged by its performance on the casino floor. If today’s report doesn’t indicate a dramatic turnaround, the judging may be so short and brutal that only Simon Cowell can do it justice.
I’m even more irreverent on Twitter @joe_arney.