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article imageAtlantic City fines bankrupt casino-hotel for losing power

By Nathan Salant     Apr 13, 2015 in Entertainment
Atlantic City - The empty Revel casino-hotel has already been fined $20,000 and will continue to be fined $5,000 a day by the city of Atlantic City until it gets electric service restored, officials said.
The $2.4 billion casino, which collapsed in bankruptcy in 2014 but was purchased at auction last week by a Florida businessman for $82 million, is being fined for safety violations since its electronic fire suppression systems cannot operate without power.
Power to the 47-floor mega-casino, the second-tallest building in the state of New Jersey, was cut off Thursday by ACR Energy, the company set up to provide power to the Revel, after it was unable to reach a deal with the new owner on the facility’s unpaid utility bills, according to the Associated Press.
Chris Filiciello, chief of staff for Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, said the city also revoked the casino’s occupancy permit.
An attorney for ACR Energy, Stuart Brown, said a state judge turned down Friday the Revel’s request for an emergency order to restore power to the facility, the AP said.
But new owner Glenn Straub, a real estate developer who plans to reopen the casino in two months, threatened to provide power to the Revel by alternate means, without involving ACR Energy, possibly involving the next-door Showboat casino that he bought last week.
"We used proper protocol to shut down yesterday and we are going through proper protocol to go back up," said
Tara Lordi, a spokeswoman for Straub and Revel, in an interview with the Press of Atlantic City newspaper.
"We're working as fast as we can,” she said. “We don't want to have our building burn down, either."
Power to the giant building blinked off Thursday, shortly after its water service was shut off.
The city’s fire department warned in February that they would not be able to adequately extinguish any blazes in the building without flowing water in its pipes and electricity to bring firefighters to upper floors, the AP said.
Other experts have advised that without power, the building could be damaged by bursting water pipes, mold and deterioration, and that some portions of the structure might be inaccessible when the casino reopen.
For his part, Straub, owner of the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club, has said he is looking for portable generator trucks to power Revel until he can hook it up to the Showboat, which closed last August.
ACR attorney Timothy Lowry said ACR would be willing to discuss restoring power to the building if Straub can't find an alternate source.
"He has repeatedly told us that he can secure power from alternative sources,” Lowry said in an email.
“Now that he has demonstrated a willingness to jeopardize the life safety of our men and women in uniform and city officials on fire code violations, such only reaffirms the basis by which we need an agreement before taking any next steps," Lowry said.
Revel shut down on Sept. 2 after two years of operation in which it never turned a profit, the AP said.
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