Glenn Straub has had enough of governmental interference in Atlantic City and New Jersey as it relates to TEN, the new identity of the former Revel Casino Resort.
The brazen and at times outspoken real estate developer from Florida says the property, which has been shuttered since September of 2014, will open on President’s Day. Straub told reporters this week that TEN will commence operations with or without a gaming license on February 20.
“We’re reopening all the restaurants, all the theaters, the lobby, the hotel,” Straub told The Philadelphia Inquirer. Revel housed three main restaurants, and 10 informal quick eateries.
Straub was in Atlantic City on Wednesday to appear before the New Jersey Casino Control Commission (CCC). The hearing was postponed, however, due to Straub’s attorneys filing an amendment on the venue’s lease early yesterday morning. According to reports, TEN’s owner was unable to sign the documents until the day of the CCC hearing due to being out of town.
Straub has made substantial investments in the former Revel space including the installation of a ropes endurance course and 13-story bicycling challenge. He’s also spent untold millions on room renovations and refurbishments after the hotel sat unoccupied for over two years.
Straub says he wants to make the beachfront gambling town a world-class destination once again, but local ordinances are making TEN’s reopening difficult to impossible. In November, the businessman accused the CCC of “creating roadblock after roadblock,” and that “doing business here should not be this hard.”
He wants to open TEN with a casino floor, but feels he shouldn’t have to obtain a gaming license since he plans to lease the space to a third-party operator.
The blame for this week’s meeting postponement, however, is being placed on Straub himself.
“The Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has worked diligently and the staff of the commission has acted quickly and professionally,” CCC Chairman Matthew Levinson said. “I can assure you, if there any future delays in this matter, it won’t be our doing.”
Levinson has expressed his frustrations with Straub’s public portrayal of his agencies. “This is a very complicated lease,” he explained.
The Revel Casino cost $2.4 billion to construct, but lasted just 29 months before closing its doors. Unlike the Showboat Casino that had a deed restriction placed on it with neighboring Trump Taj Mahal that required the venue to operate a casino, no such clause is bound to TEN.
That means Straub can move forward with opening without gaming, but to support the mammoth building, adequate levels of visitation is of course required. After billionaire Carl Icahn shuttered the Trump Taj Mahal, the Showboat was permitted to open as a hotel-only property.
Showboat is directly south of TEN on the Boardwalk. Straub likely needs gaming to validate his substantial investment in Revel that is now estimated to be over $100 million.
Local Atlantic City residents are also becoming tired of the CCC and DGE slowing a developer’s wishes of investing in their city. Calls for the issuance of a temporary gaming permit for Straub have been growing in volume.