ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- A Florida developer trying to salvage a deal to buy Atlantic City's former Revel casino says the casino's owner told him it has "many" buyers for it.
In a Sunday filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy court, a lawyer for developer Glenn Straub asserts that Revel AC has told him it has other buyers for the casino hotel.
Both sides are due in court Tuesday, when a bankruptcy judge will decide whether to approve Revel's termination of the $95.4 million sale to Straub's Polo North Country Club. But that hearing is in doubt due to a significant snowstorm approaching the region, and at least one high-profile federal criminal trial due to begin on Tuesday had already been postponed.
Polo North attorney Stuart Moskovitz wrote: "Debtors' counsel has indicated many times that there are many purchasers for the debtors' assets. That statement is seen in the auction transcript and has been made to counsel for Polo North and in open court. The debtors' motive in seeking to abruptly terminate the Polo North (sale) certainly is in question as a result of those statements. As Polo North has brought to the court's attention previously, the debtors appear to want to manipulate the sale process, whether it be to raise the sale price or collect additional deposit forfeitures. Such behavior calls the debtors' motive directly in question."
A Revel attorney declined to comment Monday.
Judge Gloria Burns is scheduled to rule Tuesday on Revel AC's move to cancel the sale to Straub and to pocket his $10 million deposit. Revel AC also kept an $11 million deposit when a $110 million sale to Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management fell through in November.
Revel said it moved to terminate the sale because Polo North had not met the Feb. 9 deadline called for under the sale contract, and it indicated it would seek to identify a new buyer. The judge has denied Straub's bid to extend the deadline to complete the sale.
Also over the weekend, a company that owns two nightclubs and an outdoor pool club at the former casino and Revel's committee of unsecured creditors lent their support to Revel's move to scrap the Polo North sale and try again with someone new. IDEA Boardwalk wrote that it supports terminating the sale to Straub "based on the fact that Polo North is unwilling to close on a sale of the debtors' assets in a timely fashion."
The power plant that is Revel's sole utility supplier also supported scrapping the sale, but it wants the $10 million held in escrow to possibly pay its unpaid bills.
The Hard Rock franchise owned by Florida's Seminole Indians has expressed interest in Revel on several occasions, and Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment CEO Jim Allen said his company had held discussions with Straub about a potential involvement in a re-opened casino there.
On Jan. 29, New Jersey casino regulators granted Hard Rock preliminary authority to own a casino in Atlantic City, where four casinos, including Revel, closed last year.