Eight-week mega-resort preview to precede Grand Opening on Memorial Day Weekend; Reservations available starting March 5.
ATLANTIC CITY — Monday, April 2, was announced as the starting date of an eight-week preview to Atlantic City’s forthcoming $2.4-billion beachfront destination — Revel — the first Atlantic City casino built from the ground up since the Borgata in 2003.
A progressive schedule of restaurants, gaming options, performance spaces, spas, day-life and nightlife amenities will complement the preview, including the initial opening of seven of the resort's 14 total restaurants.
All of Revel’s gaming options will be open from the April 2 outset, as mentioned in a media conference call with Revel CEO Kevin DeSanctis on Feb. 9, but the property's retail outlets will not open until the formal resort premiere eight weeks later. All 14 restaurants will be open by the premiere, or "Grand Opening," on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, May 25. Reservations will begin to be accepted for both the preview and premiere on March 5 by going here. The entire Revel property will be smoke-free, with the exception of an outdoor area adjacent to the larger of its two nightclubs where patrons can go to smoke — an area that other guests would not ordinarily pass through to enter the building.
DeSanctis hosted a media Q&A conference call to share more information and details about the opening, including why Revel opted to open incrementally as opposed to hosting a single grand opening to kick off the summer.
“Having done this on multiple occasions, it’s been my experience that the worst possible thing you can do is open everything at once with a big splash, because the reality is this is a six-million square-foot facility and lots of things are going to go wrong," says DeSanctis.
"I’ve always been a proponent, in every organization I’ve been in, to do your best to bring things online in stages so you can determine what the issues are and make sure that, from a guest perspective, you set the expectation that we are opening things [the right way]. It’s an all-new staff, we have all-new IT [information technology] systems, and I have to assume some things are going to go wrong.
“What we’re basically saying is that we’re going to take eight weeks to bring things online, keep previewing things, let everybody understand that we expect people to be interested and want to see what we’re doing while at the same time understand, frankly, we expect some issues."
DeSanctis says that by Memorial Day most of the preliminary bugs should be ironed out and by July 4 the property should be hitting its stride, but based on the sheer size and scope of Revel it may take a year before it reaches its full potential.
“By Memorial Day weekend we should be in pretty good shape, but frankly I expect us to hit our stride somewhere around the Fourth of July, and that’s really the key — to hit the season with everybody having had some experience under their belt, and provide as strong a correlation between guest expectation and guest experiences as possible. In reality, in a facility this size, it’s going to take a year before we really know how this facility operates and really understand the dynamics of operating this property.”
Revel includes two entertainment venues, a smaller one in the center of the casino called The Social that will be operational immediately, and the 5,500-seat Ovation Hall, which will be utilized for multiple purposes including headline acts starting this summer. DeSanctis declined to mention any headliners already booked by Revel but said that the information will be released soon.
“We are clearly going to be very aggressive," he says. "Our view is that entertainment is going to be very important not only for us, but for Atlantic City. We have what I think is one of the nicest venues in the northeast, and we will be fully utilizing that venue. I can’t talk about specifics, but I can tell you that we will be very aggressive on the entertainment side."
The decision to make Revel the first casino to voluntarily go smoke-free throughout the property was met with some ambivalence, says DeSanctis.
"Whenever you try something new you’re always a little concerned about it," he says. "Right now, the way the rules work is that about 25 percent of your gaming operation can be smoking, and the reality is, that’s very hard to police and not optimal from our perspective. Our thought process on the gaming side was very simple — you either go smoke free or you allow 25 percent of your facility to be smoke free, and we just took the plunge and said ‘you know what, we’re going to go 100 percent smoke free on the gaming side.' On the non-gaming side, a certain number of rooms can be designated for smoking and in every other part of your facility you can’t smoke. We’re just taking the final step and saying everything’s smoke-free."
He also fielded a question regarding the purpose of the large sphere on the top of Revel.
"Just think of it as a big piece of art. As you probably recognized, we don’t have a name on the building, and we just thought that, architecturally, the building had such a nice design that we didn’t want to mess it up by plastering a name across it. So instead we thought we’d do something on the top of the building that would really represent the brand."
DeSanctis addressed the issue of Revel's having received a $260 million tax abatement from the state, and gave a rough sketch of how the property plans to reinvest that money.
“As you know our goal is to take the projected monies of about $260 million over the next 20 years and invest them back in the neighborhood, and I think our goal is that every time you come to Revel you’re going to see something in the surrounding area that looks a little nicer than it did the last time you were here.
“I’d love to be able to tell you that we’ll have everything done the day we open, but I think what you’ll see in the surrounding neighborhood is constant progress. Unfortunately it looks like a construction zone in some areas, but that will clear up as the road’s completed and the landscaping’s planted, which was projected to be done in May and we’re a little ahead of that."
The Revel CEO says he has an optimistic view of Atlantic City's future.
On Wednesday, March 13, it was announced that Revel CEO Kevin DeSanctis had been replaced by interim CEO Jeffrey Hartmann.
Tis the season to be drinking seasonal beers and enjoying hearty fare, and Revel is on board with its “Oktoberfeast 2012” scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19-21.
"Each night when we do live music we turn the lights down around 10pm and it turns into a really fun rock ‘n’ roll vibe. It’s a great interactive environment.”
Revel has released a behind-the-scenes video on the making of Beyonce's "Back to Business" show, which will be the singer's first performance since giving birth in early January.
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Mitch Gorshin’s arrival in Atlantic City nearly two years ago could probably be summed up with the most quoted line from author Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
“When I look at Atlantic City, maybe I just see something different,” says DeSanctis. “What I see, when you go out on our Sky Garden or you go out on our deck, that’s sort of the Atlantic City that I think about. We have this incredible geographic location. We have 47 million people within a six-hour drive of this place, and when we think about options from a resort perspective in the Northeast, there really aren’t any. "
ATLANTIC CITY — The pulse of Atlantic City's heartbeat just got a jump-start. History was made on Monday, April 2, as Revel, Atlantic City's 12th casino — and much, much more — officially opened its doors to the public after six years of planning, building and conceptualizing. The energy inside and outside the sprawling property was palpable all day and into the night as guests marveled at the beautifully designed areas inside the state's second tallest building. Revel executives and staffers also celebrated — albeit a little on the tired side after a long day's (not to mention months' and years') work — and agreed it was a very exciting day not only for Revel, but for Atlantic City and the state of New Jersey. The day started with a sunrise toast — with Revel staffers and CEO Kevin DeSanctis on hand — and from then on people and more people flooded in and out of Atlantic City's latest attraction, several of them guests staying at the new resort during its preview period, which will lead up to the official Memorial Day weekend grand opening. Ivan Kane's Royal Jelly debuted its burlesque show — featuring live music and burlesque dancing — around 8pm and the...
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.
From a casual lunch-truck approach to modern Mexican to the finest in French-inspired cuisine, Revel will have the entire dining spectrum covered.
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.”
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."
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.
Word on the street is that the long-awaited resumption of construction of the Revel Casino Hotel complex in Atlantic City could begin in the very near future. I realize this has been stated before, but this time it looks like it’s for real. I certainly hope so. Remember how the city had a lift when it was thought that Revel had its financing in place a few months ago? I can only tell you that the rumor machine is busier now working on this project than at any other time since it first came to town. Keep your fingers and toes crossed. Update from the blogs 4/2/10... 200 Numbers Don’t Add Up A story that appeared in this week’s issue of GGB News, an excellent source of news about the gaming industry both nationally and internationally, produced an interesting story based on...
Back in January 2009, Revel Entertainment felt the recession crunch and was forced to lay off part of its construction crew, halting progress on the interior of its nearly $2 billion north-end Boardwalk casino project and limiting progress to the building’s exterior alone.
Atlantic City is in a battle right now, fighting off competition from neighboring states and looking to remain a vibrant and ever-evolving resort destination. Many of us who are Atlantic City area “lifers” hope the changes taking place, including the plans announced by the Atlantic City Tourism District and the formation of the Atlantic City Alliance, the new non-profit organization devoted to promoting the city, will help move Atlantic City toward a major comeback.
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