ATLANTIC CITY — Atlantic City’s only smoke-free casino will soon allow patrons to light up on the gambling floor as part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing it made late Monday.
Allowing patrons to smoke is one of several changes the $2.4 billion resort plans. Its bankruptcy filing read like a laundry list of mistakes and misfortunes that caused the much-heralded resort to struggle since the day it opened in April.
Among the missteps cited by Dennis Stogsdill, Revel’s chief restructuring officer: a $100 million cost overrun blamed on a contractor; the casino’s failure to connect with day-trippers; food and drinks priced too high; and the lack of a players’ club. Closing for six days in the fall for Superstorm Sandy didn’t help.
“While Revel’s resort and convention center segments have performed reasonably well in the first year of operations, the casino has struggled mightily to make headway with the traditional Atlantic City patron,” Stogsdill wrote in court documents. “Some of the debtors’ early wounds were caused by third parties, others were due to an act of God. Still others, it must be acknowledged, were self-inflicted.”
Stogsdill said Revel botched its initial marketing efforts, calling them “not well-conceived and executed.” The resort introduced itself with a television ad featuring a model disappearing into a suitcase, a cupcake roasted with a blowtorch, and a poolside guest wearing a bizarre mask.
Revel’s bankruptcy filing lists $1.1 billion in assets and $1.5 billion in liabilities.
The casino says it plans to exit bankruptcy court by May 30. The restructuring will wipe out 82 percent of its
$1.5 billion debt, leaving it with a more manageable $272 million in debt.
Revel has ranked near the bottom of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos for gambling revenue since opening April 2, 2012. It posted gross operating losses of
$35 million and $37 million in the second and third quarters of last year.