Revel Casino Hotel Atlantic City

Revel Sale Approved by Bankruptcy Judge

Boy, would it have been interesting to see Glenn Straub own the Revel. But alas, it looks like that is not to be. On Tuesday, Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gloria Burns approved the Atlantic City casino’s sale to Brookfield US Holdings LLC, a division of Brookfield Asset Management. Brookfield bid $110 million for the property on the north end of the Boardwalk last week, a month after the casino shut down.

Straub originally offered to buy the Revel for $90 million September 10th, going so far as to put $10 million into an escrow account for the purchase. Despite his being the only bid, Revel executives still took the property to auction, which was scheduled to take place September 24th. Straub’s bid ended up playing the role of “stalking horse,” or the bid which would serve as the floor for all others. But the auction did not take place on September 24th, angering Straub. His attorney, Stuart Moskovitz, claimed that Revel’s team was holding closed-door meetings to discuss offers during the time of the auction, eventually postponing it to the following week.

Incensed (that will be a recurring theme), Straub acted like a child scorned, saying he didn’t “need that monstrosity of a building.” He also provided some details as to “new direction” wanted he felt the Revel needed. Ready? He wanted to build artificial ski mountains. He wanted “super jumbo jets” to fly in Arabian tourists. He wanted “high speed catamarans” to shuttle people back and forth from Manhattan. And he wanted to build a second tower to be a “university of geniuses” of sorts, where people would work on solving world’s problems. So…yeah.

When the auction finally ran last week, Straub upped his offer to $95 million, expecting it to get “’rubber stamped,’” the Press of Atlantic City quoted him as saying. But Brookfield had other ideas, making its $110 million bid very late at night and telling Revel’s lawyers that the offer would expire at 6:00am the morning of October 1st. Straub said he was only told of the bid at 3:45am and was not able to get a hold of his financial advisors to put together another bid.

That seems like a reasonable enough complaint, though one would think Straub could have just made another offer if he felt strongly enough about it. Where it gets weird (as if his plans for the property weren’t weird enough) is the story he rattled off in court. He claimed that the overnight auction battle September 30th to October 1st put his life in danger, as he had a medical condition for which he needed medicine that he did not bring. According to the Press, Straub said, “I got a life or death medical situation. I didn’t leave with my pills. I have to take them two days a week. I’m not going to give you my medical history, but it’s a life and death situation.”

“So we’re trying to run with incapacitation, on my part, mentally, because I have a few extra pressures coming in here, to make you people, the creditors and the system, $20 million and you have to do this kind of stuff,” he added. “Why would you even allow somebody to go ahead and pressure you this way? That is unbelievable because you guys aren’t strong enough to stand up to people.”

That reference to making “you people” $20 million is about his previously mentioned stalking horse bid. He felt he was being used to simply increase the final selling price.

But wait, there’s more. According to the Associated Press, he said he was basically on the verge of death on the streets of Atlantic City during the wee hours of the morning. “I was wandering up and down the streets, which is what caused my medical condition,” he said. “It was cold, high anxiety. This is life and death here. How can they keep continuing to do this?”

“I don’t know if I knew my name at 5:30 in the morning.”

Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

If you would have trouble entrusting the future of your property to someone like Straub, you would not be alone. The Press of Atlantic City reported that one reason the Revel did not want to give Straub another shot at a bid was because he seemed, frankly, nuts. “Your honor, the rambling comments that you just heard were what was in the minds of the debtors,” said Revel’s attorney, John Cunningham.

In the end, Judge Burns did not buy his complaints. reported that she said, simply, “The sale was properly conducted and was fair. I haven’t heard one [other] party suggest that we should go back and have bidding again. You have to prove to me there was some kind of collusion or fraud … and I haven’t heard that today.”

The Revel and Brookfield now have 60 days to close the deal, which they are expected to do. Brookfield has plenty of experience in the casino business, as it owns both the Hard Rock in Las Vegas and Atlantis in the Bahamas. Unlike Straub, the company plans to reopen the Revel as a full-fledged casino, music to the ears of most Atlantic City residents. About 3,000 employees lost their jobs when the casino closed. It is not known if they would get priority in the hiring process when the Revel prepares to reopen, but many expect they will.

The Revel cost $2.4 billion to build and opened in April 2012. It closed just two and a half years later, becoming the third Atlantic City casino to shut its doors in 2014. The Atlantic Club was first do go in January, followed by the Showboat in late August. The Trump Plaza was the fourth casino to close on September 16th, and its sister property, the Trump Taj Mahal, may be down for the count as early as November.


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