|By Donald Wittkowski, The Press of
Atlantic City, Pleasantville, N.J.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 03, 2012--ATLANTIC CITY -- Revel is getting bigger.
The $2.4 billion megaresort will expand its hotel inventory to meet minimum room requirements for the amount of gaming space it will offer when it opens April 2.
Revel has agreed to add more than 300 guest rooms to satisfy the regulatory requirements for having 130,000 square feet of casino space, state gaming officials said in an order made public Friday.
The casino originally planned to have 1,090 guest rooms, but that number fell short of the threshold needed for the size of the casino's proposed gaming floor. A total of 1,090 rooms would have allowed for only 110,000 square feet of casino space, regulators said.
However, Revel will add an extra 309 rooms by May 31 to meet the requirements for the 130,000 square feet of gaming space, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement said.
The $12.4 million project will boost Revel's total room count to 1,399, the DGE noted. Although Revel plans to finish construction by May 31, the company has been granted "a cushion" until June 30 to make the rooms available to guests. If it fails to do so by June 30, then Revel will immediately scale back its gaming space to 110,000 square feet.
In the DGE's order, Revel Chief Financial Officer Alan Greenstein is quoted as saying that the company already has the money to build the extra rooms. He also said the construction cost will not jeopardize the casino's financial stability.
Kevin DeSanctis, Revel's CEO, has said the casino eventually expects to top out at nearly 1,900 rooms in its 47-story hotel tower.
Revel spokeswoman Maureen Siman characterized the room requirement as a technical issue. She said it is related to the company's plan to stagger the number of rooms it brings online each week as the casino ramps up operations. Revel is planning an eight-week preview period, culminating in a formal grand opening celebration on Memorial Day weekend.
Revel is scheduled to begin accepting hotel reservations Monday on its revelresorts.com website. Located next door to the Showboat Casino Hotel, Revel will be the city's first new gaming hall in nine years.
The New Jersey Casino Control Commission still must give final regulatory approval for Revel to open in April. The commission's next regularly scheduled meeting is March 14, but it could call a special session on a different date to handle Revel's approvals.
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