Atlantic City's soon-to-be-newest casino gets much-needed financial backing from Chinese conglomerate
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.
Reports started to circulate that the development’s financial support structure was drying up and, with the economy still in turmoil, might wind up grinding the project to a halt altogether.
On Thursday, Sept. 10, the Associated Press, Reuters and Forbes.com all confirmed that the China State Construction Engineering Corp. (CSCEC) — China’s biggest property development conglomerate based in Beijing — signed a $1.7 billion agreement with property firm Tishman Construction and Revel to help bring the proposed 47-story hotel tower back to full-speed-ahead. Tishman will continue construction and CSCEC will control 51 percent ownership, it was reported.
The Chinese backing should go a long way it curtailing any speculation that Revel might go the way that the Pinnacle project did when the economy began to crumble. Pinnacle had high hopes for a similar mega-casino on the Boardwalk, buying and leveling the former Sands building and acquiring other adjacent real-estate assets only to halt progress before construction began.
Kevin DeSanctis, Revel’s CEO and a former executive for Trump and other gaming conglomerates, was interviewed by Global Gaming Buisiness publisher Roger Gros in July. When Gros asked DeSanctis what the development’s future held at that time, when it was still shrouded in speculation, DeSanctis replied: “I think I created a little confusion in January when I announced that we were going to stage the project. Unfortunately, some folks thought we meant we would stop or stall the project. What we meant to convey was that we are staging the project in alignment with the funds we had to complete the project, and it seemed that the most appropriate way to do that was to complete the structure and the enclosure for the three primary elements of the project, and hold off on the interiors until we had the final piece of funding.”
Now that final piece of funding would seem to be in place.
Reuters reported that the CSCEC said, in a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, that the Revel project is likely to be completed in July 2011. When it is, Revel Entertainment will bring in an estimated 6,000 full-time jobs to Atlantic City.
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.
Atlantic City’s newest casino may have ranked eighth out of the 12 in terms of gaming revenue in May and June, but gaming was from the start only part of the total package the property proposed to bring to an Atlantic City entertainment environment yearning to become more diversified.
“The club is built vertically, which, from all my years of experience and all the nightclubs I’ve viewed globally, I’ve never seen such a vertical build. "
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
"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."
Emporium was created exclusively for Revel, and is a 10,000-square-foot “shop-in-shop” concept that showcases a a carefully curated mix of contemporary and luxury brands.
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