Revel property lawyer says talks ongoing to revive sale
CAMDEN (AP) — A lawyer for the shuttered Revel Casino Hotel said Thursday that talks are underway to try to revive the property's bankruptcy sale, contradicting a statement last month by the declared auction winner that the deal would be terminated.
Attorney John Cunningham said during a break in a hearing in Camden that the proposed sale of the property to a Canadian firm has not been entirely scrapped, Tte Press of Atlantic City reported
Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management had said in a statement Nov. 19 that it was terminating its deal to buy Revel for $110 million because of a dispute over debt related to the complex's costly power plant.
A Brookfield spokesman declined to comment Thursday.
The $2.4 billion Revel Casino Hotel opened in April 2012 with high hopes of helping turn around Atlantic City's struggling casino market. But it never turned a profit, filed for bankruptcy twice, and closed Sept. 2.
Brookfield was declared the winner of the bankruptcy auction and planned to re-open it as a casino before announcing in November it was scrapping the deal.
ACR Energy Partners, Revel's only power supplier, helped build the plant with $118.6 million in municipal bonds. Revel's 20-year energy contract with ACR required the casino to repay the debt plus about 11.6 percent interest.
The newspaper reported that Brookfield can drop the contract but it's not clear another energy supplier would be available with the infrastructure needed to power the Revel complex. Without the energy to operate climate-control systems, fungus could quickly overtake the glass-enclosed casino resort.
The cost of operating the plant was one of several factors that kept Revel from becoming profitable. Several casino executives said they believed the long-range plan was to have the plant provide power to other developments expected to follow Revel at its northern corner of the beachfront. But that growth never occurred.
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