Judge sets up court showdown over Revel future
ATLANTIC CITY (AP) -- The Florida developer buying Atlantic City's former Revel Casino Hotel could find out by the end of the day Monday how much longer he'll have to wait for it.
Glenn Straub agreed late Sunday night to extend the deadline for his $95.4 million purchase to be completed. The sale was supposed to close on Monday.
Instead, U.S. District Court Judge Jerome Simandle will hold a hearing at 3 p.m. to hear from former tenants at Revel, including the popular HQ nightclub and celebrity restaurants, as well as the building's sole utility service provider. The tenants say their $16 million investment should be considered before the court lets Straub buy Revel free and clear of their leases. And the power plant is seeking assurances its unpaid bills and debt from its construction will be paid.
Though much of the urgency of Monday's hearing has been avoided by Straub's willingness to wait, it still has the potential to resolve the most contentious issues standing in the way of Revel's sale.
ACR Energy Partners is threatening to cut off electricity, heat, air conditioning and water to the building if its debts are not paid. They intended to pull the plug last Thursday, but agreed to keep the power flowing at least until Wednesday when a bankruptcy court judge will consider the issue.
Revel and ACR say they are working toward a resolution that could eliminate the need for Wednesday's hearing.
Straub is the lone remaining bidder from a bankruptcy court auction of Revel last fall. He was the runner-up, but became the chosen bidder after the winner, Canadian firm Brookfield Asset Management, scrapped its $110 million deal to buy the casino, citing a dispute over the power plant debt.
In obtaining preliminary approval last week to own a casino in New Jersey, the Hard Rock chain said it has been interested in Revel and has had talks with Straub about some level of involvement in it. But CEO James Allen would not go into detail about what was discussed with Straub.