Long faded and anything but fabulous, the boardwalk is now back on the map in a big way with a new mega-resort that’s looking to attract hip young crowds — with money to spare
- Last Updated: 10:58 AM, August 2, 2012
- Posted: 10:31 PM, August 1, 2012
It's a summer Sunday afternoon, and Adam, a preppy blond finance guy, is still wearing his loafers, jeans and untucked button-down shirt from the night before. It’s the telltale sign of a good night — that, and the fact he hasn’t gotten any sleep.
“I never expected AC to be anything like this,” says the 26-year-old Greenwich Village resident, who partied the night away at HQ, a nightclub at Revel, the new 6.3-million-square-foot boardwalk mega-resort, which opened in Atlantic City over Memorial Day weekend. “As a first-timer, I didn’t expect a Vegas-style experience.”
After getting the VIP treatment in the hotel’s “Cabanas” lounge, which lays on special favors for big spenders, his friend, Corey, 26, is already a Revel believer: “They gave us models, which is great,” says the entrepreneur who also declined to give his last name. Of course, those models will cost you. Weekend access to the “Cabanas” starts at $2,000 a day for a party of six.
The guys, in town for a bachelor party, are in a pretty good mood despite spending what any high roller would consider a small fortune the night before. “We dropped serious money — probably about $40,000 among six guys,” says Adam casually. “We wanted to blow it out — bottle service, cabanas, gambling.”
Gambling in Atlantic City is certainly nothing new; for decades, the seaside town has been synonymous with retirees and their jugs of nickels hoping to strike it big at the Golden Nugget. Dilapidated hotels dotted the strip along the former crown jewel beach town, making it look like one big ashtray.
But the tone of Atlantic City has slowly been changing, and with it, a concerted effort to make the Jersey Shore town appeal to a younger, hipper set — partiers who might otherwise be headed to Vegas or summer party spots like East Hampton.
“If you build it, they will come.” That’s what Revel CEO Kevin DeSanctis has been betting on as he tries to reinvent the city as the new go-to summer — and fall and winter — destination. And celebs have been making their way down the shore this season to the $2.4 billion mega-resort, including Michelle Obama, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Jennifer Hudson and Megan Hilty. J.Lo, along with boyfriend Casper Smart, just decamped this Tuesday from a two-night stay in one of only two decadent sky suites — a palatial 3,800-square-foot loft-like space — where she enjoyed an in-room massage and played craps at a private table in the Ultra Lounge.
Still, gambling revenue is disappointing at the hotel. Revel ranks eighth out of the 12 Atlantic City casinos for its gaming take, the AP reported.