New Revel owner says ‘No way’ casino reopens this summer
CAMDEN (AP) — The casino at Atlantic City's former Revel resort won't reopen this summer, the property's new owner said Tuesday, and it's doubtful whether any of the non-gambling attractions can be reopened by Labor Day.
Glenn Straub made his comments following a federal court hearing Tuesday at which he and utility company ACR Energy agreed to continue temporary electrical service there, even as he works toward getting an alternate power supplier at the site. A literal power struggle between Straub and ACR has been keeping it from at least partially reopening this summer.
"A casino definitely won't open there this summer," Straub said. "There's no way."
He also held out little hope of reopening some of the non-gambling components of Revel, such as restaurants or night clubs or pool clubs by Labor Day, blaming the standoff with ACR Energy.
"It's not going to happen, based on what they're doing," he said. "They're putting roadblocks up."
Stuart Brown, ACR's attorney, said the utility has millions of dollars' worth of equipment inside Revel, and fears it could be damaged if Straub hooks an alternate source to it. He also said that without air conditioning, electrical equipment inside Revel is operating at higher than normal temperatures, increasing the risk it could be damaged.
Straub's attorney, Stuart Moskovitz, said Straub's Polo North Country Club is exploring obtaining electricity from the former Showboat casino next door, which he signed a contract to buy from Stockton University, or by asking Atlantic City Electric to build a substation at Revel to connect its own service to the building. Moskovitz said Revel has had a hard time coming up with a specific technical plan to provide electricity to Revel because every contractor it contacts wants to know precisely what equipment it would be hooking up to.
Both sides have been unable to agree on how much future utility service should cost, and whether Straub should have to help pay of some of the cost of building Revel's power plant.
The agreement reached Tuesday requires Straub to give ACR several weeks' notice before it connects another power supply to Revel, enabling the company to challenge those plans in court should it so desire.
Straub bought the $2.4 billion complex for $82 million out of bankruptcy court. He said he plans to open an indoor water park by November.
"Because it's winter," he said of the timeframe. "I want to get some people in there."
Straub said an outside company with experience operating a casino could be brought in to run Revel's gambling operation when it eventually opens, but he is not ruling out hiring his own staff to do so. His application for a casino license has not yet been completed.
An order from the state Department of Community Affairs requiring ACR to provide electricity to power crucial fire protection systems and an aviation warning light atop the 47-story building remains in effect.
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