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Revel: Is There A Fair Basis For Comparison?

By Chuckmonster on Tuesday, 10th July 2012 3:36pm
tagged: atlantic city   revel   borgata     comments: 10

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In the middle of our recent Atlantic City jaunt, one of our Twitter friends @JJAllocca asked us "what's a fair basis of comparison for @RevelResorts? Compare relatively to AC or compare nationally to LV too?" A great question indeed. In fact, this is the $50 billion dollar question, one whose future Atlantic City is riding on.

Opening a resort that is better than everything else on the Atlantic City Boardwalk is easy... the newest property on the boards is the moldy oldie Taj Mahal, tarnished from a decade of robber barren ownership and neglect (Chairman tower notwithstanding.) Walking into Caesars Atlantic City, a longtime pillar of Atlantic City's upper echelons and the east coast flagship of the Caesars Entertainment empire, feels like entering time warp to the late 1980's. Competing in Atlantic City with a new resort isn't the highest bar to hurdle.

With Atlantic City's fortunes going down faster than a crack whore on Mississippi Avenue, the fight for a new resort to survive isn't about beating the local competition, it is about beating an entire world of entertainment options - Pennsylvania casinos, Resorts World New York City, video games, movies, television, the internet, social media, local foodieism - every hour of every day for every potential visitors entertainment dollar. Second best to Borgata is still second best in a declining market. Does anybody even go to Reno or Lake Tahoe to gamble anymore?

So the question still remains, what is the fair basis of comparison for Revel? The answer is everything.

Comments & Discussion:

Great questions, CM. We play out in AC about 5-6 times a year and were ironically just in Reno/Tahoe last week. Reno reminded me of Downtown LV, which just makes you miss the Strip even more. North Lake Tahoe was very depressing from a casino standpoint (dealers were Nazis on the dice tables), although the area is beautiful.But to the topic at hand: Revel

I walked around it when it was still stalled a couple years ago, but my impression from the marketing and scant pictures on the web were a slightly downgraded Cosmopolitan experience. I'm excited to see your review and pictures to see how close that assessment is. On a separate note, I really liked the slightly sleazy feel of the boardwalk and the dark 80's-like aesthetic of the casinos - esp. Caesars.

Took a wander through there back during the Orion festival. It's certainly a shiny new bauble, though I doubt we'll truly know till everything is open. I can say that it's the only casino resort I've ever been in that seems to have purposely made it a pain the in ass to get in from the outside.

Weatherman - you are dead on. It felt like storming a fortress getting in from the Boardwalk. BTW - my original post got cut off, but what I was trying say was that Chuck hit it dead on that AC's prime position in a huge Megalopolis is compromised by other states' casinos. And it gouges gamblers too much for room rates in the summer (same rooms are free in winter)...AC's spiral downward might be slowed by Revel, but not stopped.

The other problem Revel seems to be having is the same problem Cosmopolitan is facing, except on a larger scale -- their unwillingness to embrace the fact that they have a casino. The fact that the newest and shiniest place in town isn't even cracking the top half of monthly revenue rankings is hugely problematic, especially when you consider that it's right on the Boardwalk. I understand the desire to emphasize the non-gaming aspects of the resort, but the fact is, having a casino is precisely the reason people come to town, and if you make the gamblers feel unwelcome, they'll just stay and play elsewhere. If Cosmopolitan's profits (or lack thereof) are any indication, this is just not a sustainable model for a casino-resort, and it strikes me as an even worse idea to try this in Atlantic City.

I think once the nightclub is open the casino will do a bit better. it's not like it's hidden away. Coming from the boardwalk you have to go right through it and I definitely appreciated that it was all non-smoking. I think they could really do something good if they can figure out a better way to move people around the property. They signs aren't as helpful as they should be.And, for that matter, open the sky garden area to walkins. Not having that open is a serious drawback. So's the lack of drinking fountains anywhere in sight.

Chuck, I also look forward to your comparison of Revel vs Borgata, as well as your other observations regarding AC. The question at the end of your post reminds me of an article in the Philadelphia newspapers in the late 90s (when Steve Wynn's return to town was still in play) comparing AC to LV and the one line that stuck out was (regarding AC) "If you don't gamble, you don't go." I don't think Revel is going to do much for AC's flagging fortunes. I like the casino and the property does seem beautiful. They have been asking far too much for rooms.....over $200 when you can stay at Borgata for $80? No thanks. I also think, despite having the beach and the Atlantic Ocean as one of the world's biggest swimming pools out back, that they could've included a nicer, more expansive pool area than they did. The Sky Garden is OK but are just a series of paths in the middle of greenery.....can imagine that it would get boring quick.....perhaps that area could've been used for more pool space. I was also surprised that between the times I was there in April and June, that they had done absolutely no work on the VIP pool area on the ground level (that you can see from the ultralounge on the casino level).

I think Revel is still a work in progress and will take almost a year for it to show it's true potential. The folks at Revel are already showing willingness to adapt to the market. When the joint first opened up they were requiring 2 night minimums and higher room prices, and since then the minimums have gone away and so have the higher room prices. Now the room prices are more in line with Borgata, Caesars, and Harrah's. Also at first the Revel Card seemed to be a useless piece of plastic,but now they are going to be matching competing card tier levels and giving out comps. While I like the fact that it is a non smoking building, I really don't see that lasting through the tough winter months.But if their was ever a sign that Atlantic City just doesn't get it, and doesn't understand why they are failing then just look on the beach. The biggest thing to happen to AC the brand new billion dollar resort that is designed off of the ocean and beach, doesn't even have a beach itself. There are giant cranes sitting on the beach and blocking the beautiful views that could be had. There is a beach replenishment project that is currently happening and of course in typical AC fashion, got delayed so it would not be finished in time. If there was ever a time for urgency it would've been for this project. There is no excuse for there to be cranes infront of Revel this entire summer.So by this time next year Revel should have a beach to use, have their nightclub and dayclubs rolling, and their restaurants should start to have a following and in turn will show the true potential of Revel.

Mstokes - the beach construction is still going on? Good grief. When there the week befor Memorial Day we saw the machinery and asked the craps boxman when they'd be done - he said no later than end of June. They have to be verrrrry disappointed...what a competitive advantage for that hotel: a friggin' beach!

Stopped in @ Revel (twice) this weekend, Friday evenibng and Sat. during the day. I was staying in a comp room @ Borgata Water Club.Revel....Beach Club/ Day Club WILL NOT be ready for this Summer, definetely for nextSummer. Beach front will also not be ready for this year. This is a crane off to the North side of resort, there is work going on the 2nd level of the night club. I guess they realized a finished Night club will bring in revenue year round, where as Beach club is only for the Summer months.Casino was a decent crowd, more club-goers late in the night than gamblers. Amada Tapas restaurant was loud and crowded, but food

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