It’s hard to believe that after a just a year of operation, the best news Revel can brag about is the approval of its Chapter 11 restructuring plan. But such is the fate this supposed beacon of hope has fallen into. A bankruptcy court judge in New Jersey has approved the plan, allowing the Atlantic City casino to finally rid itself of its mountainous debt and infuse new life to its operation. Talk about getting thrown a floater out in the open sea.
According to CBS News, Judge Judith Wizmur in Camden granted approval of the casino’s plan to to release 82 percent in ownership stake to lenders in return for canceling the $1.2 billion in debt to has incurred after only 13 months in operation. In addition, Revel will also get a reprieve in its interest payments with the casino now only obligated to pay $46 million in annual payments instead of $102 million. Plus, all that money that was allocated for paying of its debts will now go towards operating the casino.
Needless to say, this is a chance for a fresh start, but one that’s still littered with hazards if the casino doesn’t play its cards right. History suggests that despite being granted a restructuring plan, Revel still has a ways to go before firmly entrenching itself in the already downtrodden Atlantic City casino market. Since it opened in April of last year, Revel has struggled to even come out of the bottom in revenues of the AC’s casino pile, an embarrassing turn of events considering that pretty much all of its competition have been subjected to the same struggles in the past year.
A lot of people are certainly hoping that Revel gets back on its feet sooner the better than later. New Jersey governor Chris Christie is one of them because he was the one who rescued the project after Morgan Stanley wrote off $1.25 billion in project funds back in 2011. With the project seemingly dead in the water, Christie stepped up to the plate and controversially forked over $261 million in tax breaks over 20 years, a financial influx that drew in more investors, prompting the project to be completed.
Then, everything went to the pits. Revel struggled out of the gate like a winded horse out of the Kentucky Derby block and it never recovered, falling to decrepit lows that forced it to file for Chapter 11 before it even had a chance to blow its first birthday cake. But with Judge Judith Wizmur approving its bankruptcy plan, Revel has a chance to finally make something out of itself. At least that’s the plan; otherwise, there’s a good chance it won’t live to see its second birthday.