Ocean resort

Ocean Resort Casino is already seeing a turnaround for new owners of the struggling Atlantic City property

The man who oversees the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City until new owners take over says the property is replenished with cash and is already starting to improve its performance.

In his first interview since being appointed as disposal trustee of the troubled property, Eric Matejevich told The Associated Press that the property once again met state-mandated requirements to have at least 36 millions of dollars on hand at all times.

He said the casino was already starting to show significant improvement in activity levels, even during the slowest time of the year.

And a new marketing plan emphasizing customer value, coupled with a new operating philosophy – that it’s a casino with resort amenities rather than a resort that just offered chance – are also in the cards.

“The two previous owners announced that this property was a resort,” Matejevich said Wednesday. “We consider ourselves a great casino with great resort amenities.”

It’s the latest turnaround plan for the star-studded property that has baffled many owners since it opened in 2012 as Revel. Built for $2.4 billion, it never came close to turning a profit, went bankrupt twice and closed in September 2014 after just over two years in operation.

Florida developer Glenn Straub held it for three years but never reopened it. Ironically, he is the only owner to ever profit from the property, and that’s when it was closed, selling it for more than he paid for it.

Straub was sold to Colorado developer Bruce Deifik in January 2018, and the property reopened in June. But by September, it was already hemorrhaging cash and violating the state’s minimum liquidity levels.

Matejevich oversees Ocean Resort until New York hedge fund Luxor Capital takes over from Deifik. He started running out of money in September, prompting Deifik to give up ownership in January, after just six months.

The immediate priority was to stop the bleeding; the property had been losing money every month since September and had fallen below state-mandated liquidity requirements.

This situation was rectified by a cash injection from Luxor, which ultimately plans to inject $70 million into the property.

“We’re back in compliance, and we will be,” said Matejevich, who was formerly COO of the Atlantic Club casino in Atlantic City before it closed in 2014. “We have a parent company which is a new fund. a very important Yorker who has engaged in the asset.We are already starting to see quite a significant increase in our activity levels.

Messages seeking comment were left with state Gaming Enforcement Division officials on Thursday.

In May, the property will launch a new marketing campaign emphasizing its affordability – a vision antithetical to that of the original owners, Revel Entertainment, who saw it as a posh playground for high rollers and types. of Wall Street. This was a group that never showed up in sufficient numbers to support the business plan.

“We are able to offer the best value proposition in Atlantic City,” Matejevich said. “We provide the best amenities in this market in our slots, restaurants, sportsbooks, entertainment venues, hotel rooms and parking, at prices comparable to the most value-oriented properties in this market. Marlet.”

The new emphasis might work, according to David Schwartz, associate vice provost for faculty affairs at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“Any new casino has to walk a fine line in Atlantic City, but this new plan seems to be better suited to today’s market,” he said. “By balancing value with the new experiences of high-end amenities the property has, the resort could find an audience. With such competition, properties need to offer both something different and of value. The key will be the messaging.”

A construction plan to add 500 more hotel rooms to the property is still on the table, although not guaranteed, Matejevich also said. And opening a buffet remains an absolute priority.