Power restored to ex-Revel casino; reopening date uncertain
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- The power is back on at Atlantic City's former Revel casino, but when it will reopen -- and whether it will still be a casino -- remains up in the air.
New owner Glenn Straub recently reached a two-week deal with utility company ACR Energy for power to re-energize fire detection and suppression systems at the casino, which has been closed since September. Straub had been battling with ACR for months over the terms of the electrical service.
They cut off utility service to the building April 9, two days after Straub bought the property, since there wasn't a contract for future service. Atlantic City had been fining Straub $5,000 for each day the systems were inoperative.
Straub said the casino won't be ready to open by Memorial Day, but he hopes at least part of it can reopen during the summer.
"There are a lot of things that go into a war," he said Tuesday. "Our war is getting this place up and running.
"We took over a property that was broken, that was shut down for nine months," he said. "We have to get everybody rehired; government wants a permit for everything. We can do that if nobody gets in the way."
Straub said it is still possible that Revel can reopen -- under a different name -- before Labor Day weekend. But the last thing he wants is to entice customers to book reservations that might later have to be canceled or postponed.
He also said he still needs to decide whether to offer casino gambling.
"Are we going to have gambling here or not have gambling here?" he asked. "That's a decision we still have to make. Gambling would be a sister to what we do here; it's not going to be the main attraction. We came in here as a resort; we didn't buy this to be a gambling place.
"There are slot machines here and poker tables there, ready to go," he said. "We may just do those and not have Chinese baccarat and all those other card games."
Straub has been beset by distractions and delays in his effort to reopen Revel, including the dispute over utility service there, which still needs to be resolved for the long term; legal efforts by former business tenants at Revel seeking to force Straub to honor their leases in a reopened casino; and even his attempt to use generators to provide emergency power to the building after ACR cut off service. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection nixed that plan, saying the generators he rented would likely violate air pollution standards.