(Repeats to widen distribution)
By Daniel Kelley
PHILADELPHIA, Jan 31 (Reuters) - A U.S. federal appeals court has delayed the sale of the shuttered Revel Casino in Atlantic City pending an appeal by a company that ran its nightclub and boardwalk dance club.
The order, issued late on Friday by Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Court Judge Thomas Ambro, gives attorneys for Revel until Tuesday to respond to the appeal filed by IDEA Boardwalk, Llc.
The company, along with several restaurants which had also leased space inside the casino, had lost a challenge to the sale in a Jan. 21 federal court. The sale to Florida developer Glen Straub, who bought Revel in bankruptcy court for $95.4 million, was expected to be completed by Feb. 7.
The nightclub appealed that order, claiming the sale could cost it some $16 million it had invested to build bars, bathrooms and sound systems as part of its 25-year lease.
Revel, which cost $2.4 billion to build and opened just two years ago, closed on Sept. 2 after filing for bankruptcy three months earlier.
Revel was conceived as a Las Vegas-style resort that emphasized high-end dining and eye-catching design over bus tours that other Atlantic City casinos have relied upon.
The nightclub and restaurants were a popular aspect of the otherwise unsuccessful casino, and they were often full as the gaming floor and hotel rooms stood empty.
Straub’s attorneys have said they were willing to walk away from the $95.4 million sale, which was approved on Jan. 5 by Bankruptcy Court Judge Gloria Burns, and forfeit a $10 million deposit if Straub was not given control or if the deal was halted.
Stuart Moskovitz, an attorney representing Straub, said he expects a quick decision from the court.
“We are anticipating to be able to purchase this exactly the way Judge Burns ordered,” he said. “The only thing stayed is the sale, not the negotiations.”
Revel was one of four Atlantic City casinos to close last year. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has appointed attorney Kevin Lavin as emergency manager of the financially strapped seaside gaming city. (Editing by Victoria Cavaliere and Alan Crosby)