With the Revel (now TEN) ball looking bright and colorfully lit every night, and the glass facade newly washed, it seems at least plausible that owner Glenn Straub might actually come through with his promise to reopen the casino hotel.
First stop: the newly closed casino to his right: the Trump Taj Mahal, which was closed last month by billionaire Carl Icahn after a protracted and noisy strike.
Once A.C.'s premiere property, the Taj Mahal was A.C.'s worst performing casino as it met its demise.
The management team running the $2 billion TEN property, which Straub bought out of bankruptcy for $82 million, announced three new top executive hires this week, two from the recently closed Taj Mahal.
The TEN team is still touting an opening in the first quarter of 2017, when they say they will reveal a "guest centric" casino hotel with a reconfigured casino floor, and full dining and recreation options, including "interactive bowling, zip lines, rope courses, boutique movie house, high performance mini-car racing, fitness training, and cooking and dancing lessons for all ages."
Revel closed in September 2014, one of four casinos to close that year as the industry cratered and Atlantic Ciy began a long swoon toward its current near broke and on the verge of a state takeover condition.
Like South Jersey's Kellyanne Conway attempts to do with another famous casino mogul, the team at TEN seems to have reined in the expansive and meandering Straub, captured in the press release with just this pithy quote: "The variety of entertainment features we will deliver at TEN will rewrite the script on what a resort experience looks and feels like for every segment of the population."
Hired this week were: Frank Leone, former head of gaming operations at the Trump Taj Mahal, named TEN's senior vice president of casino operations.
Leone is promising a "complete reconfiguration of the casino floor with improved sight lines, pathways and ease of navigation."
Additional improvements, as per the release: "poker/keno/simulcasting presence on the main casino floor, a dedicated Asian gaming area with a noodle bar within close proximity, banks of flat screen TV's in the pits, the most popular slot product/themes, and reconfigured banks in an atmosphere that will keep customers engaged."
He's also promising a loyalty program with dining clubs. Revel was criticized for not offering comps or trying to build a loyal gaming base.
Cindi LePine, former director of hotel operations at the Taj, was hired in a similar capacity at TEN. Vincent Turrano, a food and beverage veteran of Hard Rock in Tampa, as well as Borgata and Bally's, was also brought on board.
Revel's restaurants included ones run by Jose Garces and Robert Wiedmaier. Many if not all of the former vendors inside Revel have said they hope to reopen in any new property.