Revel starts shutdown Monday after just 2 years
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The most spectacular and costly failure in Atlantic City’s 36-year history of casino gambling begins to play out Monday when the $2.4 billion Revel Casino Hotel empties its hotel.
Revel is shutting down a little over two years after opening with high hopes of revitalizing Atlantic City’s struggling gambling market.
Revel will be the second of three Atlantic City casinos to close in a two-week span. The Showboat Casino Hotel closed its doors Sunday, and Trump Plaza is closing Sept. 16.
Happy Labor Day to the employees of the casino/hotels that have shuttered their doors, are shuttering their doors and will soon shutter their doors. Now ain’t that a bitch? Winter in New Jersey without a goddamn job, fucking wow! Winter anywhere without a goddamn job would be a bitch to get through.
I could have given the owners of the Revel a bit of advice when I was in New Jersey. The people who give the casinos the majority of their business are seniors and people who avidly play the lottery. Yes, the high rollers gamble, but their numbers are far outranked by the average run-of-the-mill gambler. Revel was built for show. It was touted as an expensive hotel and not really as a casino except as an afterthought and a high-priced hotel it was, even by Atlantic City standards. How many seniors and lottery players could afford pricey digs and nowhere to smoke when the money’s running out and the only thing left to do is wait for the bus to take your broke ass back home? Many of the regulars knew each other. It was like a little club. When Revel first opened, the hotel had a ‘No Smoking’ policy. Empty rooms and an empty casino put paid to that but it was too late. Revel wanted a high-class clientele and now, it’s got no clientele and who gets the shaft? Why, the usual suspects of course, Revel’s employees.
Who would have thought that a hotel/casino that cost over $2billion would be closing in two years? I did! When I was in Atlantic City back in 2006, the changes that had taken place from the many years before were just unbelievable. The stores that catered to low-income and middle class people had ‘gone with the wind’.
Back in the ’90s, The Pier Shops at Caesars competed for the low income to middle class with dollar stores, Payless shoe stores, McDonald’s, inexpensive jewelry stores and the like. Then someone came up with the bright idea to close those stores and open up new high-end stores to bring in a ‘better’ clientele. Pier Shops was closed and the interior was gutted to make way for Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Armani, Michael Kors & Tommy Bahama, and many more of that caliber. McDonald’s and other inexpensive eateries were replaced with fine dining restaurants that served only the freshest seafood, unique culinary creations, Atlantic City’s best sushi and decadent desserts and of course, this was designed to cater to the upper echelons of society. Granny with her pension and her SSA check were pushed aside. To make matters worse, The Great Recession with the resulting credit crunch would later adversely impact millions of potential Atlantic City gamblers, not to mention that other states approved gambling and that meant that many people who used to board buses to head to Atlantic City now had the opportunity to gamble in their own backyard. No more waiting on a bus, and a 4-6 hour bus trip each way to Atlantic City. The decline of Atlantic City’s casino market has long been in the making. Add to that, Atlantic City never attempted to distribute any of the tax revenue from gambling into communities beyond the boardwalk. Just two blocks from the boardwalk, urban blight is glaringly obvious. Homeless panhandlers are ever present. People with small children stand in front of liquor stores and propel their children forward to beg people for change. Crime is rampant.
The point that I am trying to make is that at one time, before abject greed and avarice took Atlantic City completely over and the fact of other states allowing casinos to be built, Atlantic City was THE destination for the gambler. And now that the state of Maryland has legalized gambling and opened casinos, that further puts paid to Atlantic City’s glory days as Gambling Central. And so it’s come to this, the closing of newly opened casinos and the closing of casinos that were still making a profit(The Showboat)and the thousands of pink slips handed out to long time employees of Atlantic City’s gaming industry.
It never fails, just when the holiday season is approaching, people are given the old ‘heave-ho’. Over 5,000 people are set to lose their jobs by tomorrow and when Trump Plaza closes on September 16th, 2014, increase that number to over 8,000.
Happy Labor Day, everyone! Ain’t it a grand day to get a pink slip today?
The Atlantic City Labor Day Blues!
For 30 years, I’ve punched that clock
and now on Labor Day, I get to take stock
of a life of labor that could end any day
and the sad fact is, I can’t pay my own way.
In the unemployment line, here I stand.
I’ve joined the ranks of the sad, holding out my hand,
not for a hand-out, because I’ve paid my dues.
So don’t give me no lip, walk a mile in my shoes!
How long will it take me to get back on my feet
and fulfill my obligations, I’ve deadlines to meet?
I’m out to pound the pavement ’cause winter won’t wait.
The lights must stay on and the rent cannot be late.
What a Labor Day it is here in Atlantic City.
It’s not going well for me, Labor Day is kind of shitty!