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ATLANTIC CITY-The good news is that exterior work on the $2-billion ocean-themed Revel casino/hotel will move ahead. The bad news is that interior work will come to a halt for the time being and the projected July 2010 opening for the complex’s first phase will be pushed back to an undetermined date.

According to published reports, the partial shut-down of construction, which will at least temporarily idle 400 of the project’s 1,100 workers, is tied to obtaining additional financing. “I’ve tried to pace the development of the project to what the funding is over the next 12 to 15 months,” Revel Entertainment Group CEO Kevin DeSanctis tells the Press of Atlantic City. “We hope to secure the remainder of the funding over the next six to 12 months.

“All along we had been hoping the credit crisis and the overall market condition would improve,” DeSanctis, who could not be reached for additional comment, tells the Press. “We will finish the project, but the opening will be pushed back.Revel, which has Morgan Stanley as its financial backer, was approved in late 2007 and began construction in early 2008. Its 20-acre site is on the northern end of this city’s oceanfront boardwalk, adjacent to the Showboat Casino Hotel. The first phase now under construction consists of a 46-story, 1,900-room hotel tower, and a projected phase two would add a second tower and double the room count to 3,800. Plans also call for 150,000 square feet of casino space and 500,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment space–including a first for Atlantic City, a Las Vegas-style wedding chapel.

That some work will indeed continue on Revel is a bit of good news for this troubled gaming market. In October, MGM Mirage announced that it was putting its proposed $5-billion casino/hotel project on hold indefinitely, citing market conditions. The following month, Pinnacle Entertainment followed suit with its proposed $1.5-billion project on the site of the demolished Sands Hotel.

Unlike the MGM Mirage and Pinnacle projects–where nothing beyond some site work has occurred–Revel was more likely to proceed at some pace because a good portion of the initial 46-story tower and its parking garage are up and out of the ground.

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