Revel: The AtlanticCityTripping Review 2012
Test Driving The New Kid On The Boardwalk
From the day the idea was conceived until the day of its soft opening, Revel has thwarted naysayers, economic meltdowns, construction issues, ownership changes, a collapsing economy and the eternal battle with the cost of doing business in New Jersey to become a shining reality at the easternmost end of the Atlantic City boardwalk.
Comparisons to the newest kid on the block in Las Vegas, The Cosmopolitan are obvious. Not only do both resorts share narrative of their semi-disastrous gestations, but both have proved their mettle by swashbuckling through obstacles and opening against all odds, scoring huge points - real and karmic - for the myth and reality of the independent spirit. More concretely, both resorts share a similar footprint - rectangular, with limited strip/beach frontage - and were designed by the same architectural firm, Arquitectonica.
To say that these properties are similar is akin to saying that Donald Trump is a bozo - leaving vast swath of vacuum between the understatement and the truth. Cosmopolitan and Revel are sister resorts, almost identical in structural design, with Cosmopolitan functioning as the prototype to Revel's grander scheme and scale. They're both operating with no player database and are marketing towards demographics that don't gamble - clubbers and hipsters. The cherry on top? Cosmopolitan CEO John Unwin visited Revel weeks after it soft opened to check the place out.
While the big pictures are similar, the details at each Resort - interior design, decor, dining, amenities and service - are worlds apart.
We arrived at Revel after a red eye flight from Los Angeles and an enlightening drive from LaGuardia Airport to Atlantic City. The bad news: we spent about $28.00 in tolls to get from NYC to Revel, twice the ticket of a junket bus from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The good news: driving on the Garden State Parkway is like lazily speeding through a golf course, a far cry from the chaos laden freeways of my home state.
Finding the resort was a breeze due to ample signage on the ACE directing us towards Revel Beach. Due to Revel's semi-peculiar architectural plan (the bottom four levels span 14 actual floors, kinda like Cosmopolitan) self parking for casino level is on the 7th floor, with hotel on the 14th. We suggest other self-parkers heading towards the casino to use the top secret unused entrance and park as close to the beach as possible on the 7th floor. Parking fee is normally $5, but free this summer if you sign up for Revel's players club card.