New York City residents James Cross and Patricia Patterson were spurred to check out Revel a few weeks ago after hearing that Atlantic City's newest casino resort was filing for bankruptcy.
"I wanted to come see the hotel before something happens," Cross, 55, said.
Impressed with what they saw, the couple was back for a second visit this weekend.
"I'm going to be back to make sure it stays open," Cross said.
Less than two months after filing for bankruptcy, Revel is headed back to court Monday, when a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge is expected to confirm the resort's restructuring plans. If approved, the plans will allow Revel to reduce its debt while at the same time securing the financing it needs to revamp its operations in advance of Memorial Day weekend - traditionally the start of the summer tourist season.
Revel has struggled financially since opening April 2 last year, particularly in gambling revenue, landing in the bottom third of the industry nearly every month. Last month, Revel had gambling revenue of only $8 million - a 40 percent drop from the same period last year.
But casino executives remain upbeat about their prospects for the future, particularly because they said Revel's debt obligations were saddling the resort's operations.
Revel, which originally owed creditors $1.5 billion, had annual interest expenses of $102 million. Through restructuring, the megaresort will be able to cut by more than half those expenses, Revel chief restructuring officer Dennis Stogsdill said in bankruptcy documents.
The megaresort will swap about $1 billion in debt owed to creditors for an equity stake in the company. Revel also will receive exit financing - a $275 million term loan and a revolving credit loan of up to $75 million, according to bankruptcy documents.
The megaresort also appears to have negotiated a tentative agreement with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority allowing Revel to remain a recipient of future state tax breaks worth $261 million over 20 years. Part of the agreement, which was signed a couple of years ago but had to be amended in light of Revel's filing for bankruptcy protection, would give the casino's creditors the rights to $70 million in future tax breaks. The amended agreement is subject to a vote by the authority's board scheduled to meet Thursday.
Besides finances, Revel has been adding amenities to its property, such as opening a high-limit slots lounge. It also is working to complete a beach club and 24-hour casual-dining restaurant.
Revel patron Patty Slocum, 48, of Wall Township, who was at the megaresort with her husband Saturday, said April's dismal gambling revenue figures were misleading because the crowds have yet to come to Atlantic City.
"I think this summer it may prosper," she said of Revel, adding that the new amenities and renewed marketing campaign should help to draw in more people. "Hopefully it will work."
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