ATLANTIC CITY - Revel opened a few rooms of its resort to the public Saturday morning. Of course, the grand opening is 10½ months away, and the property was awash in the sounds of construction and the nearby beach replenishment project.
But the Revel Visitor Lounge on the Boardwalk opened Saturday to whet visitors' appetites for the pleasures that the developer promises will lie within in less than a year.
"This provides a peek into the excitement we've planned," said spokeswoman Lisa Johnson, of Linwood. "We're teasing."
With no advance publicity, dozens of people found their way to the lounge Saturday morning.
Low-volume club music played in the background, as visitors stood at 24 computer terminals to sign up for Revel's email list so they could be informed of developments as opening day nears. Others played pool while admiring photographs of beautiful people and reading about the Revel philosophy. A row of stools at the window next to the Boardwalk allows visitors to sit down and watch the foot traffic and beachwork.
Among the slogans posted on the walls of the lounge were "Ocean views make phenomenal wall art," "Champagne is best paired with shiatzu" and "You'll discover new ways to define your idea of fun."
The first T-shirts and baseball caps to bear the Revel logo were offered for sale, along with bottled iced tea and lemonade.
In another room, visitors could sit in armchairs and watch a video of the resort under construction.
"The architecture was very impressive and drew our eye," said Mike Natale, 25, of Methuen, Mass., who visited the lounge with his cousin, Nick Natale, and friend Clint Carney, both also 25, of Methuen. "I think we're going to stay here next time we come."
But even the lounge rooms were not completely finished, as the concrete floor lay exposed and air ducts and wires were visible in the ceiling.
"It's purposely done, so we're mimicking how the building is," said Kelly McPherson, of Brigantine, who works in Revel's marketing department.
Revel has planned a May 15, 2012, opening. The 47-story hotel tower will have 1,090 rooms, and the casino floor will have 150,000 square feet of gaming space. The resort will include nightclubs, pools, two entertainment venues, a spa and a dozen restaurants.
But Saturday's visitors were impressed with what they have seen so far.
"I just think what they're doing is amazing," said Steve Korman, of Atlantic City, adding that he plans to play at Revel once it opens.
Daren Lynch, of Tewksbury, Hunterdon County, said he and his wife, Zena, saw the construction activity from their room at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. They decided to walk up the Boardwalk for a look.
"We were watching the progress of this. It's beautiful," Lynch said. "I think it's going to be a complement to Atlantic City."
Franklin Thornton, of Wilmington, Del., who was in a side room watching a video of the Revel site, said he has been noticing the progress on the building for two years. For a while, he was afraid Revel's financing would not come through and the partially built structure would become a "white elephant."
But now that the money was made available and construction resumed, Thornton said he likes what he sees.
"It's going to incorporate all the latest technology in casino design and amenities," he said. "They know how to market their wares."
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