An already-reeling Atlantic City suffered another loss last week when Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management cancelled its plan to buy the shuttered Revel Casino. Already, four Atlantic City casinos have closed this year, and one more, the Trump Taj Mahal, is slated to close in December.
Brookfield Asset Management had planned to spend $110 million to buy Revel and turn it into a casino-hotel. Revel, which opened in 2012, filed for bankruptcy twice before closing in September 2014. Apparently, a power plant attached to the casino had higher-than-anticipated operating costs, which left Revel in the red from its opening through its closing. The recession, Superstorm Sandy and casino openings in Pennsylvania contributed to the decline in A.C. casino revenue.
Melissa Coley, spokeswoman for Brookfield, claimed that a bondholder disagreement over casino debt scuttled the deal. Revel would have been Brookfield’s second casino in the United States, after the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas. A Revel spokesperson declined to comment on the news.
Meanwhile, Revel owes $32 million in back taxes and is fighting Atlantic City’s efforts to collect on the monies owed through a tax sale, CBS Local reports.
A Florida developer who had bid on Revel during a bankruptcy auction, Glen Staub, may still be interested in purchasing the closed casino and opening it as an academy, CTV News reports. Should this happen, Revel would get a second life, albeit not as a gaming facility.
Previously, Staub had challenged Brookfield’s $110 million purchase offer, arguing that a conflict of interest occurred because the attorney who brokered the deal had represented Brookfield in the past before representing Revel’s interests at auction. Staub had offered $90 million for Revel, ABC reported.
Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian said, “Although Brookfield would have been a good fit for Atlantic City, we will continue to attract new investors. Atlantic City is a resilient city, and better days are still ahead of us.”