The new owner of the former Revel casino insisted 900 hotel rooms and several amenities will be open to the public on Wednesday. But Glenn Straub then said he might not want to stay there as a vacationer until things are a bit more ready.
Less than 24 hours before what may be the softest of soft openings was to take place, the property still lacked necessary city permits and inspections, and construction equipment lined the front entrance where limousines once disgorged high rollers.
"I'm not sure I'd want to check in till we get a chance to clean it up tomorrow," Straub told reporters Tuesday after giving a tour of the premises to Mayor Don Guardian and two City Council members. "I'm not sure I'd want to be here on vacation if you can't get a drink."
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
Liquor licenses were among a long list of approvals that still had not been obtained as of Tuesday afternoon. Guardian said the city was working with Straub to prepare for an opening, but added crucial inspections of elevators and escalators remained to be done, adding the property still had not received a certificate of occupancy.
"There have been regular daily conversations between Mr. Straub and his lawyer and the city on exactly what is needed," Guardian said.
Sitting on a curb amid the weeds outside the casino's power plant he bought after an epic legal battle last year, Straub seemed more confident most of his resort — aside from the casino, which won't open until late August — could be up and running by Friday.
He is outsourcing much of the operation. The 900 hotel rooms he expects to be open and occupied on Wednesday are to be run by a management company he has yet to identify because it is still applying for a casino license.
Straub also has not yet revealed the new name of Revel, though he did hint that it might have an Asian theme. He said he would announce the new name Thursday or Friday.
There were some small signs of progress Tuesday. A barrier blocking the exit from the parking garage had been removed, and a kiosk offering surfing lessons was set up on the Boardwalk outside the building.
Straub said 13 beach cabanas would be available Wednesday, but 10 restaurants would not be open for several days. He said the people he expects to check in to the hotel Wednesday are the guests of the management company that will operate the resort, adding he has "no idea" what time they might arrive.
Revel shut down in September 2014, one of four Atlantic City casinos to do so that year. It cost $2.4 billion to build, never turned a profit and went bankrupt twice before closing.