It took over $2.4 billion to build. It withstood a recession that threatened to torpedo the entire project. It hung on even after one of its biggest investors backed out of the whole thing, taking a $1.2 billion loss in the process. And it had to deal with a casino union that had far too many complaints about the project.
Throughout all of that, Monday arrived and the sun rose over the waters of Atlantic City as Revel officially opened for business, signaling what could very well be the dawn of a new era in the struggling casino town.
As the 12th casino to open in Atlantic City, there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on Revel to live up to the hype it has generated in the past months. More than just being a resort casino, Revel has become a beacon of hope for a lot of people in the AC in its desire to rebuild its image after taking a severe tourism pounding over the past five years.
Revel is the first casino to open in Atlantic City since Borgata in 2003. But even on its first day of business, the hotel casino is already dominating the city skyline, thanks to a revolutionary design that includes an angular slanted roof and a giant white light-up ball that sits on top of the 710 feet structure.
In line with the proposed new image of Atlantic City, Revel is marketing itself, first and foremost, as a lifestyle resort that also happens to have a casino, all while offering pretty much everything a tourist would want to see, including a total of 1,898 rooms, 14 world-class restaurants, 10 pool areas, a 5,000-seat theater, and a luxurious spa, among all the other plush amenities the resort will have in the coming months.
As for the casino part of that equation, Revel has 2,450 slot machines and 160 table games with the first line of customers getting a first taste of the action as soon as the resort opened for business in the early morning hours of Monday.
One in particular, was Jerry Colonna of Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Before clocking in at his job for a waste-management company, Colonna was one of the first people in line to try out Revel’s casino. Shortly after the casino opened, Colonna headed to the roulette table and plucked down his cash. 10 minutes later, he had $1,500 in his pocket.
“I’m a degenerate gambler,” he adds.
“And like all degenerate gamblers, they want to see the new thing. This is going to turn Atlantic City around. That’s obvious.”
But for one day, Revel was the unquestioned talk of the town. Standing at 710 feet with a glistening ball with a giant light-up ball sitting on its supple peak, the first resort casino to open in Atlantic City since 2003 was standing tall and proud as the sun rose over the Atlantic.