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On Aug. 20, Tom Norwalk, President & CEO of Visit Seattle, took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Fishmongers at Pike Place Fish doused him with
four buckets of ice in front of a crowd of about 50 people. The challenge, sponsored by the ALS Association, involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting that video to social media, then nominating others to do the same, all in an effort to raise awareness of ALS, a degenerative neurological disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Norwalk personally donated $250 to the ALS Association, which Visit Seattle matched for a total of $500.

Judge Throws Out Suit Against Asian Am. Hotel Owners Assn

On Aug. 20, nine days after eight members of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in Georgia against the nonprofit alleging corrupt practices, violations of bylaws, and even assault and battery, Judge Harold Murphy rejected the plaintiff’s motions.

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Atlantic City’s Revel Moves Up Closing Dates

The Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City will now only remain open through the morning of Sept. 2. Earlier, a Sept. 10 closing date had been announced.
“We encourage our guests to book reservations, enjoy our amenities and experience the same level of service they have come to expect,” a company statement, procured by USAE said.

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Darren Temple, CTA, Hired as MPI Chief Business Development Officer

Darren Temple, CTA, Chief Sales Officer for the Dallas CVB, will officially join MPI as Chief Business Development Officer in mid-September.
In the newly created position—for which Temple also resigned as Vice Chairman of Finance of the MPI Board of Directors—he will be charged with leading strategic business development and global sales planning. His hiring was announced on Aug. 19.

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John Cohen Gone from Boise CVB

After just a year and a half at the helm of the Boise CVB, John Cohen has abruptly departed as Executive Director of the organization.
Cohen’s last day in the position was on Aug. 14. He’d been hired for the role in March 2013.

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Too Big to Fail? Ask Revel

By Mike Santa Rita

When the Revel Casino-Hotel opened in 2012, it cost $2.4 billion to build and came equipped with 1,400 rooms, high-end restaurants, and glitzy nightclubs. It was heralded as the turnaround that Atlantic City was looking for.

It seemed competent to succeed just through the sheer size of the investment. Two years later, owners can’t find a buyer and are intent on closing in early September as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Revel had already filed for bankruptcy twice before.

Revel is not the only one. Casinos in Atlantic City are falling quickly. The Atlantic Club closed in January, and the Trump Plaza and the Showboat say they plan to shut down later this year.

But how did the most glamorous hotel on the boardwalk become a shabby, poor relation? Gamblers criticized the hotel from the beginning because its layout forced them to walk a long distance or ride up a steep escalator to get to the casino. It also imposed a strict no-smoking ban and did not offer bus trips to out-of-town gamblers who want to come and gamble in Atlantic City. The idea of selling a luxury hotel that happened to have a casino did not play well on the boardwalk, where gamblers wanted to gamble. That’s what Atlantic City is all about.

And Revel was not alone. Atlantic City has faced increased competition from Pennsylvania and Maryland, along with the prospect of new non-Indian tribe casinos in New York state. The city's gambling revenue is down to $2.86 billion in 2013 from $5.2 billion in 2006, according to the Wall Street Journal.
So where did it fail? I think owners misjudged the economy of the nation and Atlantic City in 2012. The nation was still coming back from a recession, and even gamblers had to watch their pocketbooks. There was no money to spend on extravagances, and the Revel was a supreme extravagance. The owners misread their market and bet heavily on an upscale resort that couldn’t find a niche within the Atlantic City Market.
So, the next time you hear the phrase “too big to fail”, think Revel Casino-Hotel and the $2.4 billion that went down the tube betting on just that premise.



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