It’s official. The would-be owners of Atlantic City’s legendary but now-bankrupt Revel Casino have cleared a major hurdle in the purchase of the empty property. Private equity firm Brookfield Capital Partners LP has won the right to buy Revel for $110 million – a lot less than the $2.4 billion it cost to build the gorgeous but arguably poorly managed property.
It wasn’t a sure thing. After the Canadian-owned asset company won a middle-of-the-night auction, a former frontrunner sued to have the auction overturned.
Florida real estate developer Glenn Straub argued that he wasn’t given a fair chance to top Brookfield’s bid. Straub had originally bid $90 million in cash. Straub says he was ready to top the $100 million offer but wasn’t able to get in touch with his financial advisers in the middle of the night. He was also coping with an undisclosed illness during the auction and had to attend to it.
But in the end, bankruptcy court judge Gloria Burns approved the sale. The Canadian rescue is a good thing for Atlantic City and once Revel reopens, the spark that went out when the landmark casino closed its doors could once again be bright.
Don’t worry. Just because a Canadian company owns Revel, it doesn’t mean that the casino will suddenly go all Northern on us. We likely won’t see Tim Horton’s, gourmet poutine stands, and hockey-themed bars grace the property. And the ball that sits atop the Revel won’t be replaced with a Maple Leaf.
We won’t see a CN Tower-themed room. And no, The President’s Suite won’t be replaced with the Prime Minister’s Suite. What we do wonder is if they will still build a second tower.
Brookfield happens to be Canadian, but they have assets south of the 49th parallel, including the famed Atlantis in the Caribbean and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Bottom line? They know casinos. And they know to keep Canadian stereotypes out of their properties way more than we’re capable of doing with this article.
But to be honest, I’m all for whatever Brookfield wants to do with the property, even if it means erecting a Wayne Gretzky statue outside the front doors. After all, they might have just saved Atlantic City – or at the very least started the process of returning it to its former glory. Pretty fantastic, eh?