Atlantic City’s troubled Revel casino is finally about to get a new look, and the Associated Press delved into what was wrong and what could be improved.
What is now known as Ocean Resort Casino is the tallest structure in the gambling once-Mecca. It opened in 2012 and, after declaring bankruptcy twice, closed in 2014. The building cost $2.4 billion and there were plenty of ideas as to how to reimagine it, including developer Glenn Straub’s idea to turn it into a school with an ideal student that would be “free, white and over 21.” Ultimate the casino, which holds 13 resuarants, two preformance venues and several swimming pools, was bought by developer Bruce Deifik for $118 milion more than what Straub paid for it.
Now, with Deifik on the verge of remodeling, the AP asked several customers what they thought could be improved.
One of the big complaints is the main escalator, designed as a centerpiece like a grand staircase.
“It just was never a very inviting casino, not where you have to take a gigantic escalator up from the boardwalk entrance to the casino floor,” customer Stan Goldstein told the Associated Press. “People fell off it and were hurt, and it’s daunting. The original layout of the casino is horrible. It’s hard to believe some planners actually thought that it would work. Also, a long walk from the parking garage to the casino. Just horribly laid out from the start.”
Next up is smoking. It may make for a healthy environment, but Revel was the only casino of the 12 in Atlantic City to ban it indoors. It was supposed to be a marketing strategy but apparently nobody did the research to learn that gambler’s aren’t the general public and tend to smoke.
“When Revel first opened, smoking was banned throughout, which made us stay away,” Michelle Bronski, of Yonkers, New York, told the AP, adding that even after the ban was lifted, she was still turned off by the security at the drop-off circle near the front door.
“The security guards treated that traffic circle like it was Piccadilly Square and the Queen was about to arrive!”
Revel also had great food but most accounts but no buffet. That affordable staple of casinos apparently kept many at bay.
Then there’s the 5,000-seat Ovation Hall. It got high marks for acoustics but ticket prices were steep for marquee acts, such as Beyoncé, who opened the venue. However, many customers are looking forward to the relaunch of the outdoor pool club, HQ, which the AP said was so popular that many times the line would reach out to the Boardwalk.