Ocean Resort and Hyatt to Partner in Old Revel Casino

Ocean Resort Casino - Hyatt Unbound Collection Hotel

Ocean Resort Casino will feature a Hyatt Unbound Collection hotel and the Exhale fitness and spa center.

Ocean Resort Casino plans to re-open the Revel Casino in the summer of 2018 with a high-powered partner, Hyatt. Bruce Deifik’s Ocean Resort Casino brand plans to operate the casino and hotel, but a strategic partnership will give Deifik access to Hyatt’s global customer base.

In a press release, the Colorado developer said, “Hyatt has an incredible 60-plus-year legacy in the industry, and its loyal global customer base will have access to an authentic way to experience all that makes Atlantic City attractive and popular.”

This is not the first business done between Hyatt and Integrated Properties. Bruce Deifik once owned Hyatt Grand Champions Resort in Palm Springs, so the two entities have experience with their latest business partners.

Hyatt’s Unbound Collection of Hotels

Ocean Resort’s hotel will be part of Hyatt’s “Unbound Collection” of hotel properties. A key part of the Unbound brand is the Exhale fitness and spa treatment facility, which will include 32,000-square feet of space.

The property will include a retail boutique, 32 treatment rooms, and a “mind and body studio”. The most important part of the partnership from Deifik’s point of view is access to a customer database Hyatt has developed over its 60 years of operation.

Ocean Resort Hotel & Casino

It is an improvement on Revel Entertainment’s operation, which struggled to fill the biggest and most opulent casino resort in Atlantic City. New casino operators without a hotel or gaming partnership struggles to build a viable customer database, which is one reason the Del Lago Resort in Upstate New York has struggled.

Finding a partnership was key to Morris Bailey’s success with the Resorts Casino¬†Atlantic City. In 2012, after his co-owner who was running the operation died, Morris Bailey signed a deal with Mohegan Sun to manage the casino. Six years later, many give that strategic partnership as the key to Resorts Casino’s turnaround.

Rummy Pandit on Hyatt Deal

Rummy Pandit, a gaming analyst with the nearby Stockton University’s Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism, said that the deal solves one of the key problems faced by Revel, which never made a profit in 29 months of operation.

Pandit, who is the executive director of the Levenson Institute, said of the Ocean Resort/Hyatt partnership, “The global recognition of the Hyatt brand, its base of customers, and well-developed loyalty program are major assets for the Ocean Resort Casino, and should provide a strong support for the resort when it opens this summer.”

“The addition of the exhale fitness and spa brand puts even greater emphasis on the resort’s non-gaming amenities and signals a focus on providing guests with experiences beyond casino gaming.”

Bruce Deifik Profile

Ocean Resort recently got approval from New Jersey regulators for the design of its casino chips. The various Atlantic City casinos have different chip designs, so they cannot be switched between casinos elsewhere (something a local thief once realized after making a bad decision).

Bruce Deifik is a Colorado real estate developer with a background in hotel properties. Integrated Properties, the company he and his wife, Nancy, founded in 1990, owns 103 properties in 5 US states. Many of those properties are in the Denver and Phoenix areas.

Revel Casino Background

Revel Casino was a financial disaster before it ever opened its doors in April 2012. Prior to its grand opening, Morgan Stanley sold its $900 million stake in the Atlantic City casino. Timing was part of the issue, as Revel Casino was planned before the Global Recession. By the time the opulent $2.4 billion casino opened in 2012, it met a casino market with declining revenues.

That was not the only problem. Its electricity supplier, ACR Energy Partners, received $3 million a month. That contract alone was enough to scare off several buyout partners and resulted in a months-long legal battle between the eventual owner, Glenn Straub, and ACR Energy.

Revel Casino itself underwent 2 bankruptcies in 29 months of operation. The second bankruptcy caused the casino to close in September 2014. The casino eventually sold to Glenn Straub‘s Polo North for $83 million. Straub never received a gaming or alcohol license and eventually sold the property to Bruce Deifik’s Integrated Properties earlier this year. While some worry that the introduction of Ocean Resort Casino and Hard Rock Atlantic City could hurt the recovering casino industry of Atlantic City, it appears that Bruce Deifik is making decisions that give the new Ocean Resort Casino its best chance of succeeding.