In what could be considered a disrespectful and rude tirade, Straub didn’t pull punches this week when talking about how state and local politics have made the process of opening TEN Atlantic City (formerly Revel) slow and expensive.
“They don’t know how not to rape you,” Straub told the USA Today-owned Courier-Post. “It’s like when you come to New Jersey, you have to take all of your clothes off and burn all your money.”
Straub’s words come at a poor time in light of this week’s celebration of International Women’s Day.
Straub doesn’t want to play by the rules
The firebrand developer bought the Revel out of bankruptcy in 2015. He paid an incredible $82 million for a property that cost more than $2 billion to build.
State and local agencies including the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and the New Jersey Casino Control Commission have taken a hard line against Straub, not standing for his antics and sticking with their policies.
They want him to:
- Obtain a casino license
- Pay a $100,000 debt left by the previous owner
- Procure other necessary permits and inspections
Straub has balked at these stipulations, claiming he isn’t obligated to pay any debts left by previous owners. He also doesn’t believe he should have to obtain a casino license.
After all, Straub says, he’s merely a landlord. He says he will contract out casino and hotel operations to New Jersey developer Robert Landino.
Straub’s attempts to evade a casino license failed in January when regulators ruled against him.
Straub missed Feb. 20 deadline: Nothing new
The Revel-TEN-Straub saga has been a consistent string of missed deadlines and permits.
Straub announced early this year he would open parts of TEN AC on Feb. 20 despite lacking the permits to do so. As many industry experts expected, it did not open on Feb. 20 because Straub lacked the necessary permits to serve alcohol.
Common sense would dictate Straub should have had these permits in hand before announcing an opening date, but much of what’s happened in this saga defies convention.
For example, Straub has tried to open the property in the past without conducting health inspections for his restaurants or obtaining permits for elevators.
City regulators say they’re willing to work with Straub
Despite Straub’s constant stream of anti-regulator rhetoric, AC Director of Licensing and Inspection Dale Finch has said he and his colleagues want to help Straub open as soon as possible.
All permit and inspection applications were sent to Straub, but the miserly mogul, for whatever reason, has refused to complete the necessary documentation.
From a business perspective, Straub appears to be fighting for deregulation in an industry that is heavily regulated. Perhaps Straub could win backers by making that argument, were it not for his inflammatory comments, lack of action on key permits and an overall abrasive approach to working with the city and state.