The chief executive officer who ushered Revel Casino-Hotel through its bankruptcy restructuring, a gambling-based marketing campaign and the property’s first back-to-back revenue gains is leaving his post, according to sources.
Jeffrey Hartmann, who has been at the helm of Atlantic City’s newest casino since April, will step down at the end of this month, The Press of Atlantic City confirmed through several sources. Hartmann declined to comment Friday, and there was no immediate confirmation from Revel.
Replacing Hartmann will be Scott Kreeger, who has been with Revel since July as interim chief operating officer. Formerly a marketing and entertainment executive with Station Casinos in Las Vegas, Kreeger will be Revel’s new president, sources said.
This is not the first time Revel has changed its senior management. Hartmann replaced former CEO Kevin DeSanctis, who had been tied to the project since he was selected by Revel’s original financier to lead development of the $2.4 billion megaresort.
Hartmann took over as Revel was getting ready to restructure itself in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a move that allowed the casino to slash its debt from $1.5 billion to $272 million.
Hartmann, a 20-year veteran of the gambling and hospitality industries, had spent nine weeks as a consultant to Revel prior to becoming the casino’s interim CEO. Revel’s lenders turned to him as they were preparing to take ownership of the casino in the bankruptcy reorganization.
Before coming to Atlantic City, Hartmann had served as president and CEO of the Mohegan Sun casino resort in Connecticut from January 2011 to October 2012. Earlier, he was chief financial officer for the Connecticut Sun of the Women’s National Basketball Association.
Hartmann served as Revel’s interim CEO under a six-month contract expiring this month. He oversaw the repositioning of the property to draw more hardcore gamblers. Revel scrapped its no-smoking policy in May and also toned down its high-end resort image to rebrand itself as a more affordable casino.
Under Hartmann, Revel began “Gamblers Wanted” and “You Can’t Lose” marketing campaigns this summer that have proved promising for boosting revenue. Revel led the market with a 33 percent jump in revenue in July and posted a 2 percent increase in August, giving it its first back-to-back monthly gains since it opened in April 2012.
However, the “You Can’t Lose” promotion has prompted at least two lawsuits by customers who claim they were duped by Revel. The suits contend that Revel used hidden rules in the promotion and misled customers to believe that all of their slot losses would be refunded. Revel has declined to comment on the litigation.
Revel, despite posting two straight months of revenue increases, remains financially challenged. Coming off a $111 million gross operating loss last year, it has suffered an $81.6 million operating loss through the first six month of 2013.
Revel has posted the industry’s highest average room rate this year, at $151 per night, but its hotel occupancy rate of 63 percent is third lowest among Atlantic City’s 12 casinos for the first six months, according to state Division of Gaming Enforcement statistics.
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