Documents have been discovered that claim that Wells Fargo, the well-known banking conglomerate, has offered $300,000 to Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City New Jersey to provide it with electricity. The statement claims that the move was made to alleviate dangers from the stalemate with ACR Energy Partners and the new owner of the building, Polo North.
Wells Fargo has shown concern that the issue between the two is posing a threat to the building itself and to the surrounding areas, both of which are suffering financially. If the two do not come to an agreement, there is little know about what will really happen. The bank hopes to make the funds available immediately to help resolve the issue and get things back to normal operating procedures. The document states that there are imminent public safety issues and that funds should be made available in as little time as possible.
The amount of money that has been offered is just enough to keep power in the casino on for about two weeks so that the new owners can then decide what they want to do and how they want to proceed. The issue arose when Judge Jerome Simandle would not allow Straub to use any electricity from ACR Energy Partners.
ACR Energy Partners claims that there are life and death issues at stake with those power sources. ACR Energy Partners states that since Straub has not been trained to touch any of the equipment, he is not going to be able to safely energize it and get the casino going again. Not only that, but it is dangerous to hook a generator up to a direct panel for several reasons. At this point, Straub is being fined $5,000 a day for fire code violations for the system not being hooked up and the building not being powered safely and properly.
Straub bought the failing casino in Atlantic City on April 7th and power was subsequently cut off two days later for non payment and other issues that were not disclosed. Wells Fargo, a former lender, hopes that the money they provide will do a few things for the casino and its new owner. Wells Fargo openly states that they no longer have any stake in the building since they sold it two weeks ago. They hope however that the money that they are giving the new owner, as a result of the sale that totaled $82 million dollars, can help to prevent a major catastrophe.
When the power is cut it also disables sprinkler and fire detection equipment leaving the building itself and surrounding area in danger.
Should a fire break out it could be hours before crews were even notified that there was a fire in the first place making this an incredibly dangerous situation. On top of that, it would be nearly impossible to get fire crews up to the top floors let alone fight the fire with now power or water once they got to the fire. The whole thing is a ticking time bomb.
Wells Fargo hopes that by offering enough money to get the power back on for two weeks they will give the new owner and ACR Energy Partners enough time to come to an agreement about future utility service. The issue stems from the inability of Polo North and ACR Energy Partners to come to an agreement about future utility service in the casino. As a result, ACR Energy Partners, the sole supplier of water, heat, electricity, and air conditioner has cut the power completely until an agreement is reached. The offer is contingent on Straub re-energizing the fire detection and suppression equipment in the building and ACR Energy Partners allowing to re-energize the building at the cost of the utilities only.
Straub had hoped to have at least a small portion of the building up and open when summer comes as a much smaller casino, but at this point it looks like that is not going to happen. Only time will tell if these two can come to an agreement and find a new solution. Each day that the 710 foot building sits with no power is another day that the people that are near it and that live in Atlantic City are at risk.