Auction for Atlantic City's Revel casino adjourned until Tuesday

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 24, 2014 4:46 PM

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) - Atlantic City, New Jersey, will have to wait until next week to learn who will emerge as the next owner of the shuttered Revel casino hotel, a sleek resort that closed after just two years in operation.

An auction began Wednesday morning at a New York law office but was adjourned until Tuesday, according to Revel spokeswoman Lisa Johnson. The Jewish Rosh Hashanah holiday begins at sunset.

Glenn Straub, a Florida developer with a passion for polo, provided the initial bid at $90 million in cash to acquire the complex free of debt.

At least two other potential buyers presented bids on Tuesday, a source told Reuters. It is unclear how many parties qualified to join the auction.

The Revel cost $2.4 billion to build. It opened in 2012 with hopes it would revitalize the fortunes of Atlantic City by attracting wealthier clientele with fine dining and stunning design, rather than relying on cheap buffets, freebies and bus tours.

The strategy flopped and was compounded by a push by neighboring states to legalize gambling in recent years, which has hit Atlantic City hard. The seaside resort currently has eight operating casinos, down from 12 at the start of the year.

Trump Taj Mahal, which has said its slumping business worsened after Revel closed on Sept. 2, plans to close in November if it cannot reach a cost-cutting labor deal soon.

Straub said he wants to use the Revel complex to create a university for geniuses who will come and try to solve the world's ills, such as hunger and nuclear waste storage.

Bankruptcy auctions can take days to complete. Bidding is often adjourned for hours after each round so that investment bankers and lawyers can dig through details of each bid and try to value them.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Del.; editing by Matthew Lewis)