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With Collapse of Revel Hotel, Atlantic City’s Revival May Be Officially Dead

Aug 12, 2014 9:05 pm

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It’s amazing what poor planning, corruption, and entropy can do to a seaside destination.

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Philadelphia Inquirer  / MCT

Revel nightclubs manager Justin Jordan (right) helps guests check in to the Revel resort and casino during opening days. Philadelphia Inquirer / MCT


Gary Loveman, chief executive officer of Caesars Entertainment Corp., said no qualified bidders have emerged for the bankrupt Revel hotel and casino in Atlantic City.

The absence of qualified bidders for the New Jersey property “suggests that even at a de minimis price, people are finding it hard to imagine they can make money operating the Revel,” Loveman said today on a conference call, without specifying where he got the information.

Stephen Cohen, an outside spokesman for Caesars, said later that Loveman’s remarks were based on published accounts of efforts to auction the Revel property. An NBC station in Philadelphia reported earlier today that no acceptable bids have been received, citing a source it didn’t identify.

Shrinking betting action in Atlantic City contributed to a doubling of Caesars’ quarterly loss, the Las Vegas-based company said today in a statement. Caesars, the largest U.S. owner of casinos in the U.S., posted a second-quarter loss of $466.4 million, or $3.24 a share, citing higher interest costs and an 8.3 percent decline in revenue outside of Las Vegas, including the New Jersey resort city.

Caesars, owner of the namesake Caesars Palace and Planet Hollywood resorts, has its own debt problems. The company is fighting creditors in court over its efforts to deal with $23 billion debt from a 2008 leveraged buyout.

Lisa Johnson, a spokeswoman for Revel AC Inc., declined to comment on Loveman’s remarks. Chris Filiciello, chief of staff for Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Revel has been in bankruptcy twice since it opened in 2012. The company last week postponed its auction until Aug. 14, to analyze multiple bids, according to court documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Camden, New Jersey. The company is expected to seek court approval of a sale after that date.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Golum in Los Angeles at rgolum@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net. 

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