A Florida real-estate mogul has set his sights on reviving Atlantic City, starting with the $US2.4 billion failure Revel Casino.
Developer Glenn Straub bought Revel Casino for $US95.4 million last week after another buyer, Brookfield Asset Management, backed out of the deal. According to Reuters, Straub wanted to lower the price even further to $US87 million.
Revel first opened its doors in April 2012 after a couple tumultuous and hopeful years of construction. The casino filed for bankruptcy after one year and shut down in September 2014, amid a host of other high-profile casino closings including Trump Plaza and Showboat.
Some interesting ideas have been thrown around for what Straub plans to do with the property, including opening a prestigious university and a family-friendly attraction with water park, skiing and snowboarding. But it hasn’t been determined how much of Revel will still be involved in the casino business.
According to a Wall Street Journal article, Straub traces his interest in Atlantic City back to his first visit to the place at eight years old. Straub is from Wheeling, West Virginia and studied at West Liberty University but didn’t graduate. He started off his career with an inherited transportation business from his father. After building his fortune on highways and airports, he started buying up properties in Florida. Now he owns more than 600 properties, WSJ reports, with half in residential and half in assorted operations ranging from golf courses to mining sites.
Known for buying failing properties cheap and turning them around, Straub’s previous purchases include the Tesoro Club, the Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club, the Heart of Palm Beach hotel and a 155-foot yacht named the Triumphant Lady.
Now Straub is planning to do the same for Atlantic City. He told WSJ that he plans to invest $US500 million in Atlantic City, and told Reuters that he has already scoped out two other properties and seven blocks of land that he wants to buy following Revel Casino.
Maybe he’s the man for the job.