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Grapevine: Revel's ultimate poker face?

Revel is closing next month. That was last week's huge story, signaling much more than just another casino in Atlantic City closing its doors.

It was the newest and shiniest. It cost $2.4 billion to build when it opened … just barely two years ago.

Coupled with the announced closings of Showboat and Trump Plaza, the thought of Revel going dark has many cashing out and walking away from the idea that Atlantic City has any chance left to revive itself.

But Revel may not be down for the count just yet.

As the casino announced its anticipated closure date, it was dually noted that three submissions from prospective buyers were still under financial review. The bidders needed to “show the lender that they're qualified,” a source told NJBIZ at the time.

In a story last Wednesday, The Press of Atlantic City reported that Revel said in a court filing that it was still assessing bids on the casino.

What that means is still anyone's guess.

“Maybe they're waiting until the last second,” said one source.

If Revel is indeed playing a game of poker, many are crossing their fingers that it wins.

“I'm hoping that Revel, somehow, someway, gets somebody interested,” the source said.

News of the closure came after a judge granted a request to postpone Revel's scheduled auction from Aug. 7 to Aug. 14, as attorneys needed more time to review bids.

It wasn't clear at the time if that boded well for efforts to sell the property, but the casino never made it that far — Revel's owners announced Aug. 12 that it would close.

Still, even that announcement seemed to leave the door open.

“While we continue to hope for a sale of Revel, in some form, through the pending bankruptcy process, Revel cannot avoid an orderly wind down of the business at this time,” read the statement from Revel AC Inc.

Bag fees not just for airlines 

Would you pay 5 cents for each plastic bag you use at the grocery store?

Such a policy is already in place in Washington, D.C. Now Mercer County is considering it, too.

County freeholders are reportedly supportive of putting the question to voters as a referendum on this upcoming fall's ballot.

While environmentalists love the idea, business groups aren't too fond of it.

“There are other ways to do it,” said one source within the business community.

The source said that while Mercer County is currently alone in its consideration of the fee, there is a concern that officials around the state will be “repeating this 20 times over.”

There are also some remaining questions about where the collected fees will go, the source said.

“Where's that money going and who's using it?” the source said.

Country acts bring bigger bucks

If you've been thinking there have been more country acts than usual lately, you'd be right.

According to a source with knowledge of the venue industry, country acts are highly sought after because they are more profitable than acts from other genres.

Conventional wisdom says country acts tend to draw crowds that 1) drink more beer, 2) buy more tickets and 3) are better behaved.

Our source says two out of three ain't bad.

“It's 'Yes' on No. 1, 'Yes' on No. 2 (plus they are willing to pay higher prices), but 'No' on 3,” the insider said.

The reason on No. 3?

“See No. 1,” the source said.

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