Once the jewel of Atlantic City, Revel Casino has officially closed its doors. Last month, the casino hotel property in the seaside resort town went belly up, sending shockwaves through the boardwalk and the entire New Jersey city.
Now unlike some of the older bankrupt casino properties that could be razed without giving it much thought, Revel Casino is so fresh and so modern that no one in their right mind would go near that thing with a hammer, let alone a ball and crane.
So what’s the next logical move? How about building a second tower?
I know, sounds crazy. But the proposal is being floated – and it’s a serious proposal no less.
A Florida developer has made a $90 million offer to buy Revel and wants to turn it into an elite higher-education institution. Instead of welcoming people to bet it all on red at the Roulette tables, Straub is hoping to turn the casino hotel complex into a university.
We’re not talking about a gaming university here where students learn about managing a casino, becoming a dealer, and other Atlantic City-related stuff. We’re talking about a high-end university where students and professors work toward curing cancer and ending world hunger.
While this sounds like a great idea, the keyword here is elite. That means it’s going to be ridiculously expensive to attend this school and it ultimately could rank among the Ivy League.
Some critics have argued that while the school sounds great on paper, it needs to be open to everyone to really make Atlantic City thrive again.
I completely disagree. A school doesn’t have to serve everyone to benefit the city in which it exists. The school will need local people for administrative tasks, site management roles, and more.
Plans to build a second tower and add on to the existing complex mean that the school will welcome tens of thousands of other students. They’ll need places to eat and nightly entertainment to enjoy. And if the students attending the school are rich, they’ll have money to burn at the exceptional high-end restaurants that Atlantic City already has.
While I love the idea, I’m not convinced all of Atlantic City is sold. You can bet they’ll be lots of debate over this proposal. At Prism Casino, we’ll be keeping an eye on this story as it develops. Stay tuned for updates.