NJ Travel Guide
Just a few short weeks ago, we watched as Revel Resort & Casino, the strikingly modern casino on Atlantic City's boardwalk, closed down after just two years in operation. This closure was followed by more closures and more bad news. However, someone else's metal detector just went off in the sand and it could mean the resurrection of Revel.
Toronto-based Brookfield US Holdings LLC has agreed to buy the Revel Resort in a bankruptcy auction for just $110 million. The casino cost $2.4 billion to build. Brookfield US Holdings LLC (nice name for a Canadian company, eh?) also owns the Hard Rock Las Vegas and the casino at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
There's a little bit of a hurdle for the new owners to overcome as they expect to be delinquent on an interest payment for their Hard Rock property. But a spokesperson said that shouldn't affect Brookfield's ability to buy the Revel. (Um? It probably should.) Anyhoo, tentative plans call for the resort to once again operate as a resort-casino. There's no timeline and there's no word on whether the name Revel will remain (indeed we suspect Hard Rock could come in here) but so far, this looks like much-needed good news for Atlantic City.
Hotel Closings / Atlantic City Hotels / Hotel News / Trump Entertainment Resorts / Hotel Woes / → All Tags
Ugh. Another round of bad news for Atlantic City and its employees. Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday and said that if it could not make "significant expense reductions", the casino will close on November 13. Nearly 3,000 employees will then be out of a job.
The odds of Trump Taj Mahal closing are very, very good. Trump Entertainment Resorts, which is a separate entity from the Trump Hotels company as using the Trump name is simply a licensing deal, did not pay property taxes on the Taj Mahal last month and cannot pay off $285 million in bonds. Not even a strip club could save the Taj.
Trump is hoping to cut labor costs but the unions are strongly opposing it, saying even if the workers accepted minimum wage with no benefits, there wouldn't be enough money to save the Taj Mahal. This is some dire stuff. You can read more of the nitty gritty here on this NY Times article.
Hopefully, this will be the last closing in Atlantic City for a while. At least until 2015.
Hotel Closings / Atlantic City Hotels / Hotel News / Trump Hotels / Caesars Entertainment / Revel Resorts / → All Tags
Today's the day, although it's not a day we should really be excited about.
The Revel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, which cost $2 billion to build and only opened two years ago, is closing today. Here's a statement on the hotel's website regarding the logistics of the closure. Guests were actually checked out of the hotel yesterday at 11am. No late check-outs! Although, apparently there was a fire alarm that went off at 1am but the nigthclubs at the hotel partied on, mostly filled with employees. Here's an excellent article on the last hours of the casino. Below are our photo galleries from when we first went inside Revel.
UPDATE, 8.12.14: The Revel Resort and Casino will close on September 10. Over 3,000 jobs will be lost. The resort never turned a profit in the two years it was opened. #rip
It's been nearly two months since we learned The Revel Casino in Atlantic City was in danger of closing yet sadly, there doesn't seem to be much improvement in the boardwalk casino's financial health.
Revel is set to go up of auction on Thursday but NBC Philadelphia reports that as of today, there are no qualified bids. The resorts' board of directors are supposedly meeting this afternoon and will determine whether or not the resort will close. There should be an update on this later today. We'll be keeping our fingers crossed.
Meanwhile, this weekend, rooms are sold-out on Saturday night and running about $499 a night for the next two weekends. Rates during the week are as low as $129 a night. And judging from the hotel's Facebook post earlier today, you'd never know anything was amiss.
It's starting to look like a bummer summer for Atlantic City.
First, came the news that the Revel Hotel, a brand new, gorgeously modern resort and casino could shutter as soon as next month if it didn't find a new buyer. Now, comes news that weathered Trump Plaza, located next to Caesars Atlantic City, could also close in September due to low revenues. Unless Trump can find a buyer or get an injection of money from somewhere, then the casino will shut down and roughly 1,000 workers will be laid off.
Despite having an excellent location in the center of the boardwalk across from the beach, the Trump Plaza has seen better days. There might be Chihuly (or Chihuly-inspired chandeliers) found on the casino floor, but overall, the property is in bad condition. We were shocked at the level of disrepair we saw last year in the public spaces. And the room photos on the website have us scared. It looks like nothing has been updated since the 1980s.
Whoa. The Revel Resort in Atlantic City, home to an expensive taco truck, sent out a letter to employees recently saying that if the resort couldn't find a buyer before August 18, it would close down. Did you catch that? REVEL COULD CLOSE.
But it's not surprising. Revel has had drama from the start when its groundbreaking coincided with the global financial collapse of 2008. After finally receiving the funds to finish the construction job, the resort was open, and losing money, for just six months before Hurricane Sandy walloped the Jersey Shore. Then in early February, Revel filed for bankruptcy. But despite picking up new owners and having a ton of debt removed, the resort is still struggling.
Now, Revel is asking interested buyers for about $300 million. But we're not so sure there are many folks out there who want to buy a resort that's losing even more money than when it first opened. (Gothamist pointed out that Revel lost $130 million last year versus $110 in its first six months open.)
So, with all these money woes at Revel, perhaps room rates will be cheap? Think again.
So if you're set on
freezing your a** off cheering your team on at the Super Bowl XLVIIIthis weekend, there are still plenty of hotel options available in NYC. Like, the most amount of hotel rooms open that we've ever seen for a Super Bowl.
But considering the game is actually in New Jersey, we thought we'd check the hotel options there.
Crazily enough, the Hilton Meadowlands, formerly the Sheraton and practically overlooking the MetLife stadium, has rooms open from January 31-February 2 or February 3 for just $499 on Expedia. Plus free shuttle transportation to the stadium!
Ummm, BOOK IT. You can split the cost with a friend or a stranger. Who cares? That's a good deal right there. Especially since most of the other options in NJ are budget brands like a Red Roof Inn for $170 a night, although we did see a Hyatt Place Secaucus/Meadowlands for $399 a night. Not too terrible. You could also hit up one of New Jersey's B&Bs, most of which are located near NJ Transit stops. Even though getting to the game will still be a hassle of epic proportions.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the scoop on NJ Hotel Super Bowl Parties. In the meantime, check the NYC Hotel Super Bowl Parties here.
Hilton Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / Super Bowl Hotels / Meadowlands Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
The long-standing Sheraton near The Meadowlands Complex in New Jersey, where the Giants and Jets play, has turned into a Hilton Hotel, with some brand new rooms, a new lobby and hallways. (The remaining rooms and meeting space are scheduled to begin renovation later next year.)
Aside from a prime location near the Meadowlands and the MetLife Stadium, the hotel is just four miles from NYC and 15 minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport, making it an affordable alternative to Manhattan. But should you want to stay at this hotel sometime in early February, try again. The hotel is the host hotel of Super Bowl XLVIII which means rooms are probably sold-out.
And we say probably because there isn't an official Hilton site for the hotel right now. The existing Sheraton site is still up but when we tried to make a reservation for next week, no dice. Until the Hilton site comes online, you may want to call the hotel at (201) 896-0500 to book your stay. Who knows? Maybe you'll get lucky with a room for the Super Bowl.
[Photo: Sheraton Hotels]
We know we gave you 9 Killer Hotel Views to fantasize about experiencing in person one day so hopefully you'll forgive us for what we're about to post now--a serious anti-view from Caesars Atlantic City.
Yes, this room in the Temple Tower here has an atrium view of the casino and check-in desk below as well as into other rooms that also have atrium views. So it's best to keep those shades drawn when you're walking around naked (and we know you are.) The rest of the deluxe room was quite nice--super comfy bed, big flat-screen TV and a room service menu of epic entrees.
And fortunately, Atlantic City is not necessarily a place where you go to relax in your room. Usually, you're at the tables, at the bars or people-watching on the boardwalk. Still, if you want a room with a view when staying at Caesars, make sure to request it at check-in. Slipping a $20 probably won't hurt either. Rooms this weekend start at about $150 on Friday night and a whopping $450 on Saturday night.
The opening comes on the heels of the city's decision to allow strip clubs in the hotels and casinos for the first time in AC's gambling history. No doubt, the decision was made in hopes of boosting profits and revenues for the city's businesses.
Scores will open at 7pm on Thursday, although it's normal working girl hours will be 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Below, is a photo gallery of some of the boardwalk hotels, including the Taj, followed by a list of all the different elements that Scores will include. Get your dollar bills ready!
When you put a food truck into the middle of a hotel-casino, you probably should expect higher prices than the average food truck that dishes out tacos and hot dogs. But at the Distrito Cantina and its funky Distrito Taco Truck at Revel in Atlantic City, we paid way more than we would at our local Mexican restaurant here in LA.
The Distrito Taco Truck is located on the second floor of Revel (or rather, the third floor, since the second floor is the gaming area.) We dined at Chef Jose Garces' Distrito restaurant at The Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale last year and loved it. So when we saw the taco truck--an actual truck that's been placed inside the casino hotel--we had to sit down at one of the festively decorated picnic benches and try it.
We all know that early check-ins at hotels are elusive. It all depends on a few things--how full the hotel was the night before, how fast the other guests get their belongings together and out the door and how quickly housekeeping can get in there and turn over the room.
We typically have good luck with early check-ins during the week and at huge hotels that don't always sell out like the big casino hotels in Las Vegas (mid-week of course, definitely not on a Friday or a Sunday.) But if that doesn't work, then we have to find ways to kill time in the hotel lobby, or the nearby area, for a few hours until the 3pm check-in time. Unless we want to pay extra for it with an early check-in fee.
We first noticed early check-in fees back in 2011 when we compared hotels to airlines, thanks to all the extra fees they were tacking onto hotel stays. But we've never actually seen them in the wild.
But at Caesars Atlantic City we saw this sign at check-in.