Early last week, The Revel couldn’t find a buyer, even for pennies on the dollar.The hotel and casino, which many hoped would reinvigorate Atlantic City, is soon to be a 57-story testament to the decline of what was the country’s second largest gambling market.
But, Pennsylvania has overtaken Atlantic City recently in the ultra-competitive northeast casino market. Since 2006, when the first Pennsylvania casino opened, Atlantic City’s revenues have declined from $5.2 billion to $2.86 billion last year. While online gambling hasn’t taken off the way that many lawmakers thought (hoped), it is another competitor for the gambling dollar.
So, why did Revel fail? Was it overbuilt? Was the timing just wrong? In the two years it was open, it was never profitable. I am not going to guess, but it’s obvious that since no one else is stepping up to take over the 1,399-room hotel, the consensus is that there isn’t demand in the market for the product.
So, what happens now? Does someone come in at the last minute and save the 3,100 employees? Does someone buy it and convert it to high-end residential? As residential, it would have an almost unmatched amenity package in place, but what do you do with all of the retail and the casino? All of the rooms have ocean views, but I have to imagine it would be extremely cost prohibitive to convert the building.
While there are many questions surrounding the building, here’s what we know; it’s a gorgeous building and it will close on September 10. Past that, it’s all speculation.
What do you think should (or could) happen?