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Top-10 things to look forward to at Revel

26 March 2012

By Aaron Todd

Atlantic City is getting ready to celebrate is first new casino opening in since The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa opened in 2003. Revel Casino Resort, which suffered from construction delays due to the recent recession, will open its doors on April 2, assuming the New Jersey Casino Control Commission grants the property a license later today.

Located at the northern end of the Boardwalk, the resort property has 1,898 hotel rooms and takes a nontraditional approach to the casino floor. Here are 10 things to look forward to at Revel.

10. Easy access to hotel rooms
Nearly everyone who has checked into a hotel at a casino has had to walk through the casino floor in order to reach the elevators for the hotel rooms. Trying to weave your luggage through a maze of slots while accompanied by the sounds of the machines and the haze of cigarette smoke (more on that later) is annoying. Revel, however, doesn’t require a walk through the casino to get to your hotel room. You can arrive, check in, relax and unwind for a moment or two before hitting the gaming floor.

9. Ocean-view hotel rooms
Once you get to your room, you may want to linger a bit longer than usual. The ocean-view rooms have ceiling-to-floor windows, and every room has a 46-inch LCD TV. No expense was spared in the bathrooms, which feature marble tiles and two sinks with granite countertops.

8. Natural light on the gaming floor
Most casinos limit the natural light that enters the gaming floor under the theory that it's best not to let gamblers know how long they've been gambling. Revel, on the other hand, features huge windows that look out at the ocean from the gaming floor. Early risers will be able to see the sun rise over the ocean, and the sunsets will be gorgeous. The lighting scheme will also change based on the time of day and the day of the week, changing the mood of the gaming floor and likely enticing a different types of clientele.

7. InOut Pool
The heated InOut Pool allows guests to swim either inside or outside every day of the year. Yes, brave souls that want to swim outside in January in New Jersey can do it in a heated pool. Guests can order food from the O Bistro and Wine Bar, while "cocktail girls with mini-margaritas and pool boys with misting bottles keep things cool." Sound more like keeping it hot to me.

6. The Social
The Social is one of Revel's entertainment venues. Featuring three bars on two levels, The Social promises to provide an intimate setting for a small group or room for a raucous outing with a large group of friends. The Social will also feature a "Liquid Brunch" and a sports theater with huge screens for big games. If New Jersey ends up winning its fight to legalize sports betting in the Garden State, The Social might end up being the place to be to see whether you picked the winner.

5. Shows at Ovation Hall
A 5,000-seat amphitheater in Atlantic City is sure to draw some big performers, and there's a good chance those performers are going to draw more visitors to Atlantic City. Beyoncé will perform three shows at Ovation Hall Memorial Day Weekend, and Maroon 5 and The Black Keys will each perform the weekend prior. Look for other top-tier musicians and comedians to perform in sold-out events throughout the summer.

4. Mixed games in the poker room
It remains to be seen whether this promise will be kept, but the Revel website promises "Texas Hold'em, Omaha, 7-Card Stud, Razz, HOSE, and other mixed games" at the 37-table poker room. I'm hoping they offer them at low stakes (is it asking too much for a $5-$10 HORSE game?) as well as high stakes. The poker room will feature a wall of windows that will look down over the casino floor. This is especially nice, as it shuts out the noise of bleeping and blooping slot machines, while still allowing patrons in the poker room to see the action on the casino floor.

3. Four-story nightclub
While it won't open until May (and as a married dude in my mid-30s it probably won't be my cup of tea), Revel will feature a four-story nightclub that will likely be the place to be late at night in Atlantic City for years to come. Young single people will flock to this nightclub, which I expect to be hopping from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. four or five nights a week.

2. Azure by Allegretti
While the nightclub isn't really my thing, the next time I'm in Atlantic City with my wife, I'll likely try to treat her to dinner and a bottle of wine at Azure by Allegretti. The French and Italian restaurant will feature seafood accompanied by local ingredients, and those who desire can watch the chefs prepare the food in the exhibition kitchen. If you're looking for privacy, groups can reserve the private dining room and watch the sun set.

1. No-smoking property
Maybe the best thing about Revel for me is the fact that there won't be any smoking allowed except for the outdoor rooftop in one of the nightclubs. One of the worst parts of a casino visit for us non-smokers is dealing with second-hand smoke, and having a property choose to go smoke free is a definite incentive to visit.
Aaron Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd has covered the gambling industry since 2006. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and (his personal favorite) Badeuci.

Since graduating from St. Lawrence University, Aaron has worked as a journalist covering the gambling industry and as a communications specialist in college athletic departments.

A native of a small town in New York just south of Ottawa, Aaron lives in Needham, Mass., with his wife and three children. Write to Aaron at aarontodd@casinocity.com, and follow him on Twitter @CasinoCity_AT.