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Ocean Resort Casino Shows Significant Improvement, New Owner Says

Ocean shows signs of improvement, new owner views the property as great casino with beautiful resort amenities

Ocean Resort Casino has improved its performance since news about the change of ownership emerged in January, according to the divestiture trustee charged with overseeing the Atlantic City property while its new owner gets the necessary permit to take over.

In his first interview since stepping in, Eric Matejevich told The Associated Press that the Boardwalk casino resort has been re-stocked with funds and now meets a requirement imposed by New Jersey gaming regulators to always have at least $36 million in available cash. Ocean failed to meet that requirement every month between September and January.

Ocean originally opened doors as Revel back in 2012. The first owners of the $2.4 billion property had high hopes for it, but those were never fulfilled. The hotel and casino complex never turned a profit until 2014, when, after two bankruptcies, it closed doors.

Florida businessman Glenn Straub bought the shuttered resort the following year. He paid $82 million and promised to reopen it and turn it into a highly successful operation. That never happened and the developer sold it after three years to Colorado businessman Bruce Deifik.

Ocean was launched in June 2018 to great fanfare. The new owner of the Boardwalk property hoped that they would do things the right way this time around. However, Ocean failed to gain momentum in the Atlantic City market and underperformed for the greater part of the eight months after its opening.

In January, Mr. Deifik confirmed media reports that he was offloading his majority stake in the hotel and casino resort. A few days after his original announcement, news emerged that New York hedge fund Luxor Capital Group would take over.

Luxor appointed Mr. Matejevich as a trustee to oversee the property while the hedge fund’s application for a temporary gaming license with New Jersey gaming regulators was under review.

Casino with Great Resort Amenities

Mr. Matejevich told The Associated Press that the casino resort has already started showing significant improvement in its performance, even though it is the slowest period of the year. The official, who formerly served as COO of the now shuttered Atlantic Club, went on to say that Ocean has a parent company that is “committed to the asset.”

Ocean’s new owner will launch a new marketing campaign in May. The property will be promoted as an affordable one, a major diversion from the original owners’ strategy to market the hotel and casino complex as a playground for high roller gambling customers and Wall Street types. That original marketing strategy failed to lure that desired group of visitors.

The new owners of Ocean have also changed the property’s operating philosophy. Instead of a resort that happens to feature a casino, among other facilities, Ocean is now viewed as a “great casino property with beautiful resort amenities.”

Mr. Matejevich told The Associated Press, that the property offers “the best value proposition in Atlantic City” with the “best amenities in this market.” Opening a buffet at the complex has remained a top priority for Ocean’s new owners. However, Mr. Matejevich said that a previously announced plan for the addition of 500 hotel rooms is still on the table, but it is “not guaranteed” that plan would eventually be carried out.

Luxor has also previously announced that it would plough a substantial investment into upgrades on the casino floor and other enhancements of Ocean’s existing offering.

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The post Ocean Resort Casino Shows Significant Improvement, New Owner Says appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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