The $2.4 billion Revel Casino which opened in 2012 struggled to post profits and went into bankruptcy twice before finally shutting down in 2014. The Revel was one of the five casinos to shutdown in Atlantic City and the property was purchased in April 2015 by the Polo North Country Club. Glenn Straub, a Florida real estate developer who owns Polo North paid $82 million to purchase the former Revel casino.
Straub has had a number of plans for the property which included opening a smaller sized casino, turning it into a shelter for Syrian refuges, developing a genius academy and creating a rope course. He wanted to partially open the property to the public on June 15 but was unable to do so as Polo North was unable to acquire all the necessary permits required to open the property.
Straub has faced numerous challenges since the Revel was acquired as the property’s former supplier ACR Energy Partners stopped supplying power and filed a lawsuit against Polo North. New Jersey lawmakers asked Polo North to pay $5,000 per day in fines as the power shutdown disabled the fire prevention system which caused serious property hazards. Apart from all of this, Polo North has had to go through a lot of red tape with New Jersey lawmakers to obtain all the necessary permits required to open out the new facility.
Glenn Straub recently stated that he is completely frustrated with the way New Jersey does business and said that the property was ready to open in June 2016 but remains closed because state lawmakers continued to stall things.
In a statement, Straub said “There’s no assistance. I don’t ask them for any money. I don’t ask them for any bonding. I don’t ask them for assistance or tax credits or anything else. I’ve never seen business so bad. I worked in five states. This is 10 times worse than what it would be anyplace else. This state stinks. It just stinks. I’ve got other things to do. I don’t have time to be screwing with this stuff”.
Polo North has to obtain approval for an amended site plan from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. This is due to the fact that the construction of the ropes course has changed the way traffic flows and an approval is required. A public hearing was held last week but approval wasn’t granted as officials stated that Polo North had not submitted sufficient documentation. The next hearing has been fixed for September 8. Once the approval is obtained, the authority’s full board needs to give final approval. The full board is scheduled to meet on September 20.