The saga of Glenn Straub and the Revel Casino Hotel continues, as nothing seems to be going easily for the former casino or its new owner.
In the middle of a dispute over powering the Revel, Straub is now looking to evict ACR Energy from the Revel property, escalating the battle between the Revel’s new owner and the poker company tasked with supplying energy to the facility.
ACR Energy stopped supplying power to the Revel starting last Thursday, following through on several threats they had made throughout the course of Straub’s purchase of the former casino.
That led to the building being declared a fire hazard because the fire suppression systems were rendered inoperative without power, meaning the building was forced to be closed.
That led to an immediate $10,000 fine for Straub, with additional $5,000 fines coming daily.
Generators Could Provide Temporary Power to Revel
Straub is hoping to have generators up and running by this Thursday in order to stop the fines and reopen the building. Straub attempted to have a judge force ACR to restore power to the building on Friday, but was unsuccessful.
By Tuesday, three trailers of generators were parked outside the Revel, presumably preparing to power key systems that would allow the facility to remain open and avoid further fines.
“Those generators can run the building just fine as long as you keep putting fuel in them,” said Mark Johnson owner of Atlantic Power and Equipment.
Using the generators may well cost more than the fines Straub has been forced to pay to the city, but it would at least bring the facility up to code again.
Straub Sends Eviction Threat to ACR
But that’s only part of Straub’s strategy in the power dispute. On Monday, the Florida developer sent a letter to ACR threatening to evict them from the property.
The power plant sits across Oriental Avenue from Revel, on land that is also owned by Straub. According to an attorney for ACR, the company would like to take the dispute to the US District Court in Camden, as previous cases dealing with disputes between the Revel and its tenants have been dealt with in that court.
ACR maintains that Straub is the source of the problems between the two sides, saying that the new owner is only willing to pay for operations and maintenance on the power plant and wouldn’t pay for natural gas or the electricity produced by the plant.
However, there have always been concerns about the energy company: during the initial auction for the Revel, a deal with Brookfield Asset Management fell apart when they could not reach a deal to reduce the $118.6 million owed to ACR bondholders by the previous owners.
The Revel paid tens of millions of dollars each year in energy costs to ACR.
Deal With Stockton Could Provide Energy from Showboat
Meanwhile, Straub is also looking into alternative ways to get power flowing into the Revel again. Straub has talked about the possibility of buying the Showboat from Stockton University, which was hoping to turn the former casino into a satellite campus but ran into opposition from the Trump Taj Mahal.
He has already made an arrangement with Stockton to buy excess energy from the Showboat, as well as hot and cold water. That contract would last for 90 days, but could then be extended monthly by Straub if necessary.
Regardless of how Straub gets power back into the Revel, however, he seems to have decided that ACR won’t be a part of the equation going forward.
“We don’t need to do business with them,” Straub said. “We’ll erase them off the map.”