Renaming Revel: Does It Actually Matter What Glenn Straub Calls A.C.’s Notoriously Troubled Casino?

Photo | Dan McQuade

Photo | Dan McQuade

The video is professional. Beach shots are interspersed with close-ups of Revel, the $2 billion failed casino experiment at the north end of Atlantic City’s boardwalk. It’s a rebranding video: The new name for Revel will be Lacuna.

But it’s not official. It’s essentially fan fiction. The “Lacuna Beach Resort and Casino” is an attempt to attract the attention of Revel owner Glenn Straub. Last week while watching presentations from Columbia University architecture students about the future of Revel, Straub promised $10,000 to whoever comes up with a new name for the casino. Entrepreneurs, like the people behind Lacuna, have already set up Facebook pages in an attempt to win Straub’s attention (and, presumably, $10,000). Read more »

MGM Buying Full Ownership of Borgata Casino

Borgata - Water Club - Atlantic City

Photo | Jeff Fusco

MGM will soon be the sole owner of the Borgata.

Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts International, co-owners of Borgata parent company Marina District Development Holding Company, announced late yesterday they had entered into an agreement for Boyd to sell its 50 percent stake to MGM for $900 million. Boyd will also get a 50 percent share of any property tax rebates.

“The consistent success of Borgata is a tribute to the entire Borgata team, as they have continued to outperform an evolving and challenging Atlantic City market,” Boyd president and CEO Keith Smith said in a release. “We thank them for their tremendous contributions to Borgata and Boyd Gaming, and we wish them continued success as they join the MGM team.” Read more »

A.C. Will Face Major Budget Cuts if Christie Signs Rescue Bills

Photo | Dan McQuade

Photo | Dan McQuade

The future of Atlantic City is now in Gov. Chris Christie‘s hands. Or, rather, his pen.

A pair of state aid packages passed the Assembly and Senate today and are now awaiting Christie’s signature. The bills give the city 150 days to come up with five-year fiscal plan for balanced budgets. If Christie signs them, the city would have to cut roughly $100 million in its fiscal plan.

The city will get about $56 million for the 2017 state budget, with the money coming in state aid and redirected casino funds.

Both bills passed the assembly in the early afternoon. The Senate passed them later in the day.

Read more »

Soon, You May Be Able to Drink on the Atlantic City Boardwalk

Atlantic City beach bar sign

A beach bar in Atlantic City. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

Soon, you might be able to stroll down the boardwalk in Atlantic City with a beer in your hand.

If you’re a regular visitor to Atlantic City, there’s a chance you’ve already done this — maybe during the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, or maybe just with a drink you snuck out of a boardwalk-adjacent bar. But you’ve actually been breaking the city’s open-container law.

The city may soon vote to allow the drinking of alcoholic beverages on the boardwalk, under certain conditions, between Albany Avenue (south of the old Atlantic Club/Hilton casino) and Metropolitan (just north of the old Revel casino). That’s the entire casino stretch of the boardwalk. Read more »

Third Time’s A Charm: Garces Is Headed Back To Atlantic City

Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City

Photo | Dan McQuade

So, I’m guessing no one has told the Iron Chef that Atlantic City is going through a bit of a rough patch, huh?

Or maybe Jose Garces just doesn’t care. Maybe he knows something we don’t. Maybe, at the tail-end of a $40 million renovation, the Tropicana in Atlantic City just looked like too good of a bet not to take (see what I did there?).

Read more »

Bernie on the Boardwalk: Sanders Bashes Trump at Atlantic City Rally

Bernie Sanders - Atlantic City

Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on May 9th. (Photo | Dan McQuade)

In the building where Donald Trump once held Mike Tyson prizefights and World Wrestling Federation world championship matches, Bernie Sanders spoke before a crowd in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City this morning. The assembled masses were as boisterous as the ones at the WrestleMania events once hosted there by Trump.

“I don’t have to tell you too much about Donald Trump,” Sanders said at the rally. “You know more than most Americans … what we’re seeing in Atlantic City capsulizes the ugliness and the greed we’re seeing all over the country.”

Trump once owned three casinos in Atlantic City, but lost them through a series of bankruptcies. He still brags about the money he made in Atlantic City, and considered his time there a success. That stance is ripe for Sanders to hit with his message of economic populism, as he did at the seaside resort that is on the verge of bankruptcy. “Don’t tell me it makes any sense for Wall Street billionaires to be profiting while the people of Atlantic City are suffering,” Sanders said. Read more »

Chris Christie: 10 Days to Avert Atlantic City Bankruptcy

Chris Christie

Chris Christie speaking at today’s press conference on the Atlantic City state takeover bill. (Still from NJTV livestream; used under a Creative Commons license)

“We’re either going to do it, or Atlantic City is going to be bankrupt.”

Those were the words from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a late-afternoon press conference today, speaking about series of Atlantic City state takeover bills that he wants the legislature to pass as soon as possible. According to Christie, Atlantic City will run out of cash in about 10 days.

“We don’t have time to dawdle here,” Christie said. “It’s 10 days.… I am not going to permit the taxpayers of New Jersey to be fleeced again.” Christie supports a bill, proposed by Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney, that allows the state to take over large swaths of city government for five years. Read more »

Atlantic City Makes Bond Payments, Avoids Default (For Now)

Photo | Dan McQuade

Photo | Dan McQuade

Atlantic City made a $1.8 million bond payment this morning, but Mayor Don Guardian could not guarantee at this point the city would make its bond payment next month.

“I wanted to make sure I didn’t put the bonds before payroll, before schools, before anyone else,” Guardian said. “But if we didn’t make our bond payment, it would be detrimental to everyone, including us.” The mayor said the city would be able to meet payroll this month, and expected to make a payment to the school district on May 15th.

Atlantic City had considered skipping the bond interest payment in order to make payroll, which would make it the first New Jersey municipality since the 1930s to default on a bond payment. Read more »

Atlantic City Goes From “Queen of Resorts” to King of Foreclosures

Atlantic City, which had the highest foreclosure rate of any U.S. metropolitan area in 2015, continued to hold that honor in the quarter just ended. Photo | Wikimedia Commons.

Atlantic City, which had the highest foreclosure rate of any U.S. metropolitan area in 2015, continued to hold that honor in the quarter just ended. Photo | Wikimedia Commons

Atlantic City is on a roll. But the dice keep coming up snake eyes.

In this particular case, the bad luck streak pertains to foreclosure activity. The latest figures from RealtyTrac, released yesterday, show the seaside metropolis led all metropolitan areas nationwide in foreclosure activity in the first quarter of 2016, with one in every 106 housing units under a foreclosure filing. Read more »

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