Despite its new marketing campaign and a huge promotional push, Atlantic City is not yet out of its doldrums. And what was supposed to be its savior, the Revel casino, has failed to live up to expectations—and that's putting it kindly. Some tragic facts from the Inquirer:
· Revel has failed thus far to grow the gambling market here, and despite massive state subsidies it is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
· It has been in eighth place among Atlantic City's dozen casinos every month since its April 2 soft opening.
· It had a gross operating loss of $35 million, or $18 million excluding one-time preopening charges.
· Revel was unable to cover its cash operating expenses for the quarter.This is an especially big disappointment for the taxpayers, who footed a $300 million bill for what was supposed to turn everything around. Had it worked out that way, it would have been a worthwhile investment. But now the future is dim. Steven Lonegan, state director of the New Jersey chapter of Americans for Prosperity, told the the Inquirer's Suzette Parmley that the casino should just "be allowed to collapse, file bankruptcy, and let people take their lumps." Then a different investor would buy it cheap and reinvent it.
For a long time in Philly, when a high-end restaurant or retailer would come into town, local gadflie would call foul, saying it showed a lack of knowledge of "real Philadelphians," who aren't interested in fancy things. They were proven wrong again and again. But is it possible that wisdom does hold for A.C.? Parmley quotes Levittown's Carol Lehman, who comes to A.C. with her husband. She said Revel "forgot that it's the middle class that goes to Atlantic City." Her husband said, "It's too fancy for me. It's over the top." They found the sandwiches they wanted at Showboat, right next door.
· Revel's rocky launch [Inquirer]