It's been three years since Hurricane Sandy rocked Atlantic City but the casino business has stabilized. More good news came to the Jersey Shore this week when it was announced that a familiar face was returning to do business.
Developer Glen Straub, who owns the land where the damaged Revel Casino used to be, has long been pondering how to proceed. He's finally announced his decision, which is to reopen a smaller casino/resort on the land. At this point, we don't have a timetable as far as when his new resort will be up and running.
Revel was originally one of the casinos that was expected to bring some life to Atlantic City but that hope never came to fruition. It opened on April 2, 2012 at a cost of $2.4 billion but closed in September that same year after filing for bankruptcy. Straub was able to buy it for pennies on the dollar, scooping it up for $82 million via bankruptcy court.
It's significant news as there are eight surviving casinos in Atlantic City, and so far the casinos have been doing well thanks in part to the fact that there isn't much competition in town.
Straub's building, which will not be named Revel, will join the fray in the coming years and that could push its neighbor, what was formerly the Showboat Casino Hotel, to reopen in some fashion as well. That property was bought just last week by Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein, but he hasn't decided whether he'll open up a casino or a non-gambling venue.
The economic situation for casinos is still on shaky ground in Atlantic City but seeing more investments and more money flow in for development is an encouraging sign for the area.
That's important because it doesn't look like there will be any public assistance for Atlantic City after Governor Chris Christie rejected an aid package on Tuesday. It's the second time Christie has vetoed this type of plan; he didn't give any reasons for it this time around.
The eight casinos had been hoping to make payments instead of pay taxes for the next 15 years but that was shot down. It was one of three bills that Christie decided not to act upon before Tuesday's deadline.