Revel Casino-Hotel has laid off 75 employees as it continues its post-bankruptcy restructuring under new ownership, but there are some signs of a turnaround after huge losses in the first year of operation.
The job cuts, announced Monday, represent 2 percent of the 3,500-member work force and affect managers as high as the senior vice president of resort operations, said Jeffrey Hartmann, Revel’s interim chief executive officer. The downsizing follows 80 layoffs in April while Revel was still in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Hartmann, who took over as chief executive in a management shake-up in March, expressed regret over the layoffs but said the work force was simply too big for the revenues Revel has been earning. He noted that Revel suffered a $150 million loss in its first 12 months of operation.
“Most importantly, we need to get the company to profitability,” Hartmann said in an interview with The Press of Atlantic City. “We have to get to profitability for the long-term viability of the asset.”
The timing of the layoffs is unusual, coming at the height of the summer season, when casinos traditionally are at their busiest and need peak staffing levels to handle their customers. Scott Kreeger, Revel’s interim chief operating officer, maintained that the job cuts will not hurt customer service.
“We hope that staffing level changes, while unfortunate, will start us on the path towards profitability and provide long-term stability for the more than 3,500 people who work for Revel,” Kreeger said in a statement.
At the same time it disclosed a new round of layoffs Monday, Revel noted that the first week of July was the casino’s first profitable week since it opened in April 2012. However, Hartmann declined to divulge profit figures. Like other Atlantic City casinos, Revel is required to report its profits or losses quarterly — not weekly — to New Jersey casino regulators.
Hartmann said a strong Fourth of July weekend, combined with Revel’s new gambler-friendly marketing programs, helped boost the casino to its first profitable week. Revel has abandoned its exclusive, high-end resort image to rebrand itself as a casino-centric property. Its new marketing campaign features the theme “Gamblers Wanted.”
Revel recently launched a “You Can’t Lose!” promotion that promises to refund gamblers’ slot losses through July. Gamblers who lose between $100 and $100,000 on slots will have their losses refunded to their player’s cards for future play. Revel has introduced another initiative that matches the slot promotions offered by other Atlantic City casinos.
Revel, a $2.4 billion megaresort, has undertaken a radical overhaul of its operations and marketing strategy since emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May under the new ownership of its lenders.
Since opening, Revel has languished near the bottom of the pack in gambling revenue among Atlantic City’s 12 casinos. The new management team led by Hartmann is focusing on increasing revenue while also trimming expenses. Hartmann declined to say Monday whether Revel may cut its work force even more to reduce expenses.
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