Revel auction still taking bids, did not adjourn

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The bankruptcy auction of Atlantic City's former Revel Casino Hotel ground into its third day early Wednesday as lawyers for the bankrupt resort continued to weigh bids.

Late Tuesday night, the attorney for Florida developer Glenn Straub said the auction was adjourning until Monday. But both sides later agreed to continue the auction and by early Wednesday a Canadian firm had submitted the high bid thus far.

Straub attorney Stuart Moskovitz said rival bidder Brookfield Asset Management, which owns casinos in Las Vegas and the Bahamas, had increased its offer from $98 million to more than $110 million, but was making that bid contingent on it being accepted by 6 a.m.

The two companies were vying for the right to buy the $2.4 billion casino hotel for pennies on the dollar.

Brookfield representatives did not return messages seeking comment.

Straub's initial $90 million bid set the floor for the auction. He was weighing whether to submit a bid in excess of the $110 million Brookfield had on the table, but had not decided by early Wednesday.

Brookfield owns the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and the Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas. The company's website says it is a global firm with headquarters in Toronto, with $200 billion in assets under management.

Revel closed on Sept. 2 after just over two years of operation. It is one of four Atlantic City casinos to shut down so far this year as the seaside gambling market continues to crumble. A fifth casino, the Trump Taj Mahal, may close on Nov. 13. So far, 8,000 casino workers here have lost their jobs.

The auction began Tuesday morning in the New York offices of Revel's bankruptcy attorneys, and quickly had to deal with some acrimony from Straub.

In a motion filed Monday but added to the court docket on Tuesday, Straub said revel reneged on a promise to share information on rival bids with him, and asked a bankruptcy court judge to compel the former casino's management to do so. He also wanted the auction halted for two days.

The court refused both requests, but scheduled an Oct. 20 hearing on his complaints.

Straub said he envisions using the sleek glass-covered tower as a so-called "genius academy" at which tenants would address the world's pressing problems. It may or may not have a casino, he said.


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