Beacon of hope for soon-to-reopen Revel?
There's a light at the top of the building, if not the end of the tunnel, for Atlantic City's former Revel casino.
The giant white ball at the top of the 47-story building was illuminated Monday night for what may have been the first time since the casino shut down in September 2014.
Owner Glenn Straub says it's part of the efforts to test equipment and prepare for a June 15 opening of 500 hotel rooms and most, if not all, of the property's restaurants.
"We haven't been sitting around for 10 months doing nothing," he said. "We're not going to have all 1,800 rooms open; we'll probably have 500 open that day. All the restaurants will be open, I think. They've been wanting to re-open since the day it closed."
Straub also plans to re-open a casino there, although his license application is not yet complete.
He also says the business won't be called Revel when it re-opens, though he hasn't yet decided on a new name.
"That's a hard word; it doesn't mean anything," he said. "It's definitely not going to be `Revel."'
Revel opened April 2, 2012, but struggled from the outset; it never turned a profit, went bankrupt twice, and shut down on Sept. 2, 2014. Straub bought the casino, which cost $2.4 billion to build, out of bankruptcy court last April for $82 million.
The illumination of the ball atop the building is part of systems testing going on throughout the building, Straub said.
The ball was designed by Mitch Gorshin, whose father, Frank, played the arch-villain The Riddler on the 1960s "Batman" TV show.
Mitch Gorshin said he got the idea for the ball while walking back to the casino and eating a slice of pizza. When he was done, he crumpled up the aluminum foil that held the pizza into a tiny ball and was about to throw it away when he held it up and saw it aligned with the casino's roof.
A computer program creates numerous illuminated colors and patterns on the ball, which is visible for miles when activated.
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