In the aftermath of Hurricane (I refuse to call it ‘Super Storm’) Sandy, we had family come stay with us in Pennsylvania as we were relatively unscathed. After the first week in exile, my in-laws decided to spend a few nights in Atlantic City, perhaps as a stop en route to warmer destinations.
I’m not sure how they landed at Revel, but they weren’t there long before they called us: “The place is empty, you have to come down for a night at least.”
We were actually ‘on vacation’ and kicked around the idea, but weren’t initially convinced. An hour later we got another call: my father-in-law was at the front desk, and put us on the phone with a Revel staffer. Two minutes later we had an impossible-sounding deal on a room, and were packing bags.
For less than I’ve paid at some low-end hotels, we ended up with an ocean-view, corner suite:
For anyone not into stats, there are a few interesting ones about Revel: it’s the second tallest building in NJ, and it’s got 1399 rooms currently, but there’s unfinished space for a bunch more. Our guess was that about a dozen rooms were actually occupied when we got there.
Where is everyone?
Walking around we made a few “I Am Legend” jokes – frequently going ten minutes or more of wandering without seeing any other customers in any direction. We thought that maybe the casino would turn up some Revelers.
Slots? Sit anywhere you’d like.
Nobody here either.
There were definitely more staff in the hotel than there were guests. We wandered for quite a while and didn’t see anyone. I was constantly trying to figure out how many staff it takes to run the place, and how much money the had to be hemorrhaging every minute. At least a dozen restaurants were open, most of which had only a customer or two (if any) in them.
Empty stores, empty lounges.
There was only one area left to explore; maybe guests were in the spa area? Of course they weren’t, but we had to check.
Indoor / outdoor pool: abandoned like everything else.
The experience was surreal; a few dozen guests (at most) in a building designed for thousands. I played blackjack by myself for over an hour, as a few other dealers and pit bosses stood by chatting with me as nobody else was playing. We ate at various restaurants – all of which were great, but it was mystifying that the place was even open.
View from the 45th floor – Revel Casino (click for full-size)