by Alan Campbell, Featured Contributor
I KNOW THAT that I have harped on Atlantic City’s financial problems when it comes to the hotels. It almost seems like a movie action plan to destroy the economy of the Boardwalk hotels. The Showboat, Trump Plaza, Taj Mahal, and of course the Revel. The Revel did see light for a while when it won a reprieve at the auction, however the buyers have since pulled out. Trump Taj Mahal will be handed over to Carl Icahn, has agreed to cancel the $286 million in company debts he owns in return for ownership. Here is another property that is turnkey ready to reopen if certain concessions are met on Mr. Icahn’s part. According to Mr. Icahn he would invest an additional 100 million dollars in the property. The hotel is schedule to be shut down on December 12th.
That is a lot of people that are out of work, and I dare say that the remaining casinos better take advantage of the situation, since the lack of rooms will probably benefit the other hotels, and businesses. The consensus among those that study these statistical analysis of why things happen, is that the neighborhood states opened their own casinos, and this led to the slowdown of patrons going to Atlantic City.
One must be aware of changes in the wind and be willing to adapt or innovate so as to not fall in to the trap. Someplace along the line there was a failure to adapt to the new casinos in other states. What steps could have been taken to advert closing some casinos. The Revel was doomed from the start, leave that one alone, but the rest were well established business. Was there anything that could have been done, that is if the hotels acted earlier to the threat of new ventures in other states.
I sometimes feel that Atlantic City hotels were asleep at the wheel, and figured that their Boardwalk and Ocean front would still lure the day trippers. It is always easier to criticize after the fact, but surely something could have been done. What was done? How did this tragedy happen? Why did it happen? Question’s that are needed to answer. Could this sane scenario happen in Las Vegas? California is a feeder city for Las Vegas, yet California has dozens of casinos. It has not affected the hotels here. What is done different to ensure that the business here is healthy and competitive with other states casinos, and Indian gaming?
I ask what do you (GM’S) think could have been done differently if you were at the helm?