The Revel Casino Hotel has nearly been sold on several occasions over the last few months, but it appears as though the shuttered resort will finally see a sale go through.
Florida Developer Glen Straub and Revel AC have reportedly come to an agreement to sell the Revel for $82, a significant discount compared to the $95.4 million Straub originally bid on the property, not to mention the $110 million that a Canadian firm had originally won the auction for before backing out of purchasing the Atlantic City property.
Previous Sale Voided by Bankruptcy Judge
The agreement comes a week after US Bankruptcy Judge Gloria Burns accepted a petition from the Revel to terminate a previous sale agreement to Straub. That move came after Straub failed to meet deadlines for the sale because of legal battles between Straub and former tenants of the Revel (including nightclubs and restaurants) over whether he could break their leases upon buying the resort.
At the time, Burns also ruled that Straub’s $10 million deposit would be held in an escrow account. However, despite the legal maneuvering, both sides said that they were still interested in completing a deal at some point, something that proved possible less than a week later.
A closing date of March 31 has been set for the new sale. However, the deal has to be approved in Bankruptcy Court before that can happen. While that seems likely with both sides on board with the terms of the deal, nothing has come easy for the sale of the former casino property, with Judge Burns calling the case “long and tortured.”
If the sale proceeds as expected, Straub says that his firm, the Polo North Country Club, hopes to have much of the resort open for business by the coming summer.
“Polo North is working diligently with its team to finalize an operational plan for the property to be successful, not just ‘business as normal’ as was done in the past,” said Straub in a statement. “These plans include major construction of a $50 million dollar plus expansion of the exterior area of the building and a $50 million dollar plus relocation of items such as a more accessible hotel lobby, a large medical/health spy and facility.”
Straub Wants to Diversify Offerings at Revel
Throughout the sale process, plenty of attention has been placed on the interesting and sometimes outlandish ideas Straub has had for the Revel.
He has talked about opening an elite university there, or perhaps a water park. In a recent interview, Straub spoke of a property that would include many different pursuits, including education, life-extension science, and (naturally) some gambling.
“I think we can help a lot of people,” Straub told Bloomberg. “We’ll give you a week of knowledge and maybe extend your life.”
The Revel was opened in 2012 after a construction cost of $2.4 billion. It was designed to be an upscale resort that would attract high-end visitors who wanted to do more than just gamble while they were in Atlantic City. However, this didn’t seem to mesh with the clientele coming to the city; that, combined with a poor design, seemed to doom the venue from the start.
Under the new agreement, Polo North has already deposited the entire purchase price, which is being held in escrow until the sale can be closed.