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As officials react to announcement that Revel will close, A.C. mayor is critical of decision

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Revel's owners issued a formal statement Tuesday that it will close by Sept. 10 unless a buyer is found.
Revel's owners issued a formal statement Tuesday that it will close by Sept. 10 unless a buyer is found. - (AARON HOUSTON)

As public officials weighed in Tuesday about the news that Revel Casino Hotel will close next month, Atlantic City's mayor lamented the action taken by the resort's board of directors, since prospective buyers had surfaced last week.

“We are disappointed in the decision that the board of Revel has made, as there appeared to be several bidders for the property,” Mayor Don Guardian said in a prepared statement. “While I am not privy to the current facts that led to this decision, I do know this process is a complex one compounded by an extremely short time frame and cash flow challenges.”

The owners of the struggling casino announced Tuesday it will close Sept. 10, even though it will continue to search for a buyer until then. Ahead of a bankruptcy auction scheduled for Thursday, Revel failed to attract any “qualified” bids — only three submissions from bidders whose financial viability had to be reviewed.

RELATED: Revel announces it will close by Sept. 10; efforts to sell will continue

That prompted a meeting Monday at which board members would decide how to proceed, but the result was a formal announcement that the 2-year-old, $2.4 billion gaming hall would “wind down” its operations.

That will mean the loss of more than 3,200 jobs, an impact highlighted by public officials even as they tried to remain optimistic.

“This might be Revel's last chapter, but not the last one for this building,” Guardian said. “My administration remains committed to the workers, the businesses and the visitors who are impacted by today’s news.”

Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo (D-Northfield) issued a separate statement Tuesday that lamented the blow to the region’s economy:

“We live in troubling economic times, but as a community we will endure,” Mazzeo said. “Atlantic City is in a transition period. We know it won't happen overnight, but we will get there. It look Las Vegas over 10 years to transition to a destination resort and now they're beating the odds.

“Atlantic City has so much potential, and we'll strive to maximize it,” he said. “Tough economic choices lie ahead, but we'll face them together, and together we'll work to bring Atlantic City back to being the premiere East Coast destination that it once was.”

Meantime, Assemblyman Chris Brown (R-Linwood) put the onus on state officials.

“The state needs to bring stability back to the Atlantic City market by reaffirming its commitment to giving Atlantic City the time it needs to transition into a destination resort and reassuring investors there is a profitable future in Atlantic City," he said in his own statement.

ALSO ON NJ BIZ:

No qualified bids in Revel bankruptcy auction, but three offers are under review

Revel bankruptcy auction postponed until next week

Special Report: Experts now say Revel may go for pennies on the dollar

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Joshua Burd

Joshua Burd

Josh Burd covers real estate, economic development and sports and entertainment. Before joining NJBIZ in 2011, he spent four years as a metro reporter in Central Jersey. His email is joshb@njbiz.com and he is @JoshBurdNJ on Twitter.

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Comments


Rich said:
Atlantic City is failing and going downhill because the City allows and caters to drug users. The city would clean itself up naturally through investment and new working residents if the drug users disappeared. People would move in and fix up the houses and spend money in the City, but this doesn't happen because it is infiltrated with drug users. They get hand outs of drugs and food all day long and sleep on the streets. The City needs to remove the drug users and dealers and only than does Atlantic City have a chance to rebuild.

August 16, 2014 7:54 am

Bud U. said:
The days of any government entity saving AC are over. We need people like Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn, perhaps Disney to produce a Master Plan that removes the bungling bureaucrats who have done everything possible to insure the demise of this town. Everybody realizes that there is a lot of new competition, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. We are either going to have a gambling resort or we are not, a simple choice.

August 13, 2014 9:19 am

Earle S. Collins IV said:
All of the politicians are trying to figure out to save Atlantic City and what to do and this and that.
Blaming the demise on Atlantic City on the influence of outside casino's etc. which is all true.

Last week governor Christie vetoed the Sports Gaming Bill.
Why?

Here is my 3 step plan to fix Atlantic City.

1 - Decision makers need to wake up and realize it is 2014 and 1954.

2 - Legalize Sports Betting

3 - Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Every single empty seat on United Airlines and Spirit Airlines through ACY will be filled.
And the CRDA can then stop subsidizing the cost of the empty seats back to the airlines.

Money will be flowing - Atlantic City will have another good run until the next set of issues comes up.

Its working in Colorado and they don't even have the beach.

Who knows - It could even save The Revel and if it doesn't it certainly will save the rest of the city.

August 12, 2014 3:22 pm

Outside observer said:
I'm not sure how much more time Atlantic City needs to transition to a destination resort. When the casinos were first approved by voters back in the '70s, the promise was to use tax revenues to reinvest in the city. In nearly 40 years that just hasn't happened and outside of the immediate casino vicinity Atlantic City is as depressed as it was before the casinos. For the past (nearly) 4 decades the city has been a one-trick pony and is now reaping the results of its own failed promises. The gambling vote was the first time I was old enough to vote and I voted against the casinos because I was immensely skeptical that tax revenues would be used for the good of the city. I am often wrong on these matters, but in this I was sadly correct.

August 12, 2014 2:52 pm



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