revel opening

Patrons come and go at the boardwalk entrance to Revel . Revel opens just before 6:30 a.m. with a sunrise toast outside in the SkyGarden off the hotel lobby, and the doors open for the public. Monday, April, 2, 2012 ( Press of Atlantic City/Danny Drake)

Danny Drake

ATLANTIC CITY – Guests see that Revel is different from the moment they check into the hotel.

The lobby is on the 11th floor, five above the casino; other Atlantic City casinos have both on the same level, usually the first or second.

Guests can actually bypass in-person check-in using kiosks that look like giant wooden ATMs at first glance. With a wood base, white front and curved design, the kiosks dispense keys to registered guests.

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People won’t get into their rooms today until 4 p.m., so many of those visiting Revel so far on opening day said they walked here from Resorts, Tropicana and other local properties also fronting the Boardwalk.

But those who drove from Harrah’s and elsewhere, and parked in the garage, would notice digital signs showing how many spaces are available on each floor, a feature likely to minimize the time spent searching for a place to park and offered in Atlantic City only by Revel – at least for now.

Those are some of the little things that set Revel apart and what its operators hope will attract people who don't even visit the city now.

Revel departs from other Atlantic City casinos in much bigger ways, too.

Other local gambling properties do not take advantage of the Atlantic Ocean, which would set them apart from those in Las Vegas and smaller competitors in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and Connecticut.

“It’s about time,” said 22-year-old Frank Palmisano of Revel’s architectural emphasis on ocean views.

Sunlight is seemingly inescapable throughout the shared spaces of Revel’s 6.3-million square interior – a rarity in an industry that typically kept gamblers focused on the task at hand by minimizing daylight, clocks and other reminders of life off the casino floor.

Guests were ready and waiting when Revel opened just after sunrise; by noon, a steady stream of people passed through the glass door opening the fifth-floor deck overlooking the shoreline. They strolled past plants, swimming pools and lounge chairs and private facing the horizon line.

With water and sky visible through the glass walls surrounding them, a group tour followed a guide up the escalator, flanked by thin pieces of gold suspended by nearly invisible strings so the metallic confetti seems to rain down the seven-floor atrium.

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