Winning Bidder to Reopen Revel as Casino

The defunct Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City will reopen as another casino, a spokesman for Brookfield Property Partners parent company said Wednesday, hours after the firm was declared the winning bidder.

"Our expertise is running casino, hotel properties," said Andrew Willis of Brookfield Asset Management, which operates the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas and the Atlantis Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas.

Revel officials declared Brookfield Property Partners the winning bidder Tuesday after the Toronto-based company upped their offer to $110 million late Tuesday.

Willis declined to discuss specifics about Brookfield's plan for the property, but did share its expectation for "synergies" between its future Atlantic City casino, Las Vegas' Hard Rock and the Atlantis.

The casino, which cost $2.4 billion to build, opened in 2012 and closed Sept. 2 after filing for its second bankruptcy in June.

"[Revel] and its advisors determined that Brookfield's bid was the highest and the best bid received," a Revel spokeswoman said in a statement. "The company intends to move forward promptly ... to seek approval of the sale."

The sale hearing is scheduled for Oct. 7.

Revel selected Polo North Country Club Inc. as the backup based on its $95.4 million offer, the statement said.

Brookfield first pledged $94 million and then $98 million as it competed with other bidders, like Polo and a real estate developer -- Glenn Straub, for ownership of the bankrupt casino.

Initially Straub appeared to be the only party interested in acquiring Revel, offering $90 million before the bankruptcy auction was even scheduled.

Ahead of the auction, Straub spoke about his ambitious plan to turn the closed casino into a university that would serve ideally "white and over 21" students  -- apparently Straub's way of describing someone with no financial obligations, Reuters reported.

The auction, which began last Wednesday, was suspended that afternoon due to the approaching Rosh Hashanah holiday. It resumed Tuesday.

The bidding process frustrated Straub, who said he waited around for six hours on Sept. 24, "but nothing happened."

He asked the judge to delay the auction, claiming Revel's attorneys failed to keep a promise to share information about other bids they received. A Revel spokeswoman declined to comment on Straub's complaint.

The court refused to suspend the auction, but a hearing was scheduled on Straub's objection for Oct. 20.

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