At face value, Atlantic City’s entertainment schedule for late winter and into the spring looks surprisingly light.
Nothing bombastic, no big surprises, no market debuts, pretty much an entertaining collection of the usual suspects.
But there’s a wild card buying into the game that could shake things up.
However, like a poker player sitting down at the table for the first time, the new kid is playing it close to the vest and isn’t tipping its hand. Not yet, anyway.
Like virtually everything else connected with the property — except for maybe its restaurant lineup — the folks at Revel aren’t ready to reveal any of the acts and attractions booked into Ovation Hall, the multi-purpose room that will be capable of seating up to 5,500 guests for concerts, sporting and special events.
One thing you can pretty much take to the bank, though: When Revel president and CEO Kevin DeSanctis said Atlantic City’s first new casino in nearly nine years will be looking to book the biggest acts, he isn’t bluffing.
“Clearly we want to go after the type of artist that can draw 5,500 people, and when you get into that genre ... there’s probably only about 20 acts that can do that,” he said during a late December interview.
He said Revel would try to book acts that “will attract a different type of visitor” to Atlantic City.
“I think [our entertainment schedule] will have some dimension to it,” he added.
But that’s as close as he came to revealing any details about Revel’s entertainment schedule. That hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from spinning like a top, though.
Although Revel is still sticking to a mid-May opening of the $2.4 billion destination resort — indeed, a countdown clock on its Web site indicates how many days until the property opens — there’s still speculation the property could open as soon as March.
So it’s unlikely that any major shows have been booked prior to May. But sources inside the entertainment community are pointing to either May 19 or 26 as a likely date for a major show to christen the city’s newest entertainment venue.
One act that has been mentioned for a possible Revel date is the band Maroon 5. Revel reportedly outbid another Atlantic City Casino to book the popular pop rock band, but it’s unlikely they’ll actually christen the new showroom.
Revel drew the inspiration for the biggest of its two major entertainment venues by looking at existing rooms and picking the best of the best as a model.
“It’s kind of like Nine Inch Nails and Smashing Pumpkins,” Alexakis tells Atlantic City Weekly. “There’s a guy in each of those bands who is the leader of the band, who sings and writes the songs and could easily be leading a band, which possesses his name only. It’s the same situation for me. But I think we, in this society, are used to doing things as a collective.”
To usher in the historic first day for Revel, the property has booked the band The Raveonettes to perform a free show at 9pm at The Social, located near Revel's imaginative casino floor.
Just as Atlantic City Weekly columnist David Spatz suggested back in February, Maroon 5 has been booked to perform at Revel’s Ovation Hall on Friday, May 18, 8pm.
Akron, Ohio rockers The Black Keys have been booked for Revel.
Wiedmaier’s room won’t be the only place to grab a steak at Revel. Chef Marc Forgione, one of Revel’s two TV Food Network “Iron Chefs” (Philly-based Jose Garces is the other) will be opening American Cut, which he described as his spin on a “classic steakhouse.”
Impeccably dressed in a tailored suit and a fashionably wide and colorful tie, Howard Weiss straddles the top two steps leading onto the small stage at The Pool at Harrah’s. The all-weather tropical hangout has been transformed from its daytime persona as a haven for the hotel’s middle-aged hotel guests into its pulse-pounding nightclub configuration.
Tommy Stinson is asking some questions about the fashionable Paleo diet since he’s hoping for some extra energy. That’s understandable since the Guns N’ Roses bassist is working around the clock.
When Revel Entertainment opens Atlantic City’s first new casino resort in nine years on April 2, CEO Kevin DeSanctis will be borrowing an entertainment page right out of his old Mohegan Sun playbook. Revel’s guests can expect to find free entertainment in a venue known as The Social, an open, 700-capacity room smack in the center of the gaming floor.
"It was a little bit of a culture shock coming from Las Vegas, as you can imagine. But then when I actually spent some time [in Atlantic City] and spent some time in competitors' casinos, I was pleasantly surprised and I feel that, you know, being involved in Revel is a very exciting piece of history for Atlantic City and I think will change how people look and perceive the market."
Kevin DeSanctis, Revel CEO: "Clearly we want to go after the type of artist that can draw 5,500 people, and when you get into that genre, if you will, there’s probably only about 20 acts that can do that."
Revel continues to back up its claim that the property will be a mega-casino complex with the announcement that Food Network Iron Chef Jose Garces, acclaimed chef and owner of eight restaurants in Philadelphia, and four more in Chicago and Scottsdale, Ariz. is set to open the doors to three highly anticipated restaurants at Revel.
The firm's CEO, Neil Moffit, recently told the 'NY Post' that "this casino could easily be in the upper echelons of Vegas."
The newest webisode from the fourth-coming mega-resort, “The Idea Behind Revel: A New Kind of Destination,” reveals more of the story behind the production. The video includes intimate looks into the planning, vision and details of the highly anticipated destination.
Revel Casino stays ahead of the curve when it comes to keeping those who want to remain “in the know” informed of its progress in Atlantic City.
"Revel Entertainment said Thursday that it has secured the final $1 billion-plus it needs to finish its half-built casino on the Atlantic City Boardwalk."
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