Utility company backs off threat _ for now _ to cut off power at former Revel Casino Hotel

The lights will stay on — for now — at Atlantic City's former Revel Casino Hotel.

ACR Energy Partners had told Revel's owners it would cut off service to the building at 5 p.m. Thursday over unpaid bills. But the company and the casino agreed Thursday morning to keep the power and water flowing until a hearing Feb. 11.

John Cunningham, a Revel attorney, said both sides are trying to reach a mediated solution to all the issues dividing them. The power plant is Revel's sole provider of electricity, heat and air conditioning, and water.

Debt from its construction — and who will pay for it — continues to be an issue. An inability to resolve it led Revel's initial buyer, Canadian firm Brookfield Asset Management, to scrap the deal in November.

Cunningham said both sides agreed to let bankruptcy court judge Gloria Burns hold a hearing on the matter next week, "with the approval of ACR that they will not shut off the power to Revel until (the judge) has had that hearing, or there is a closing."

"Our hope is we have a resolution, and we don't even have to have a hearing," Cunningham said.

Florida developer Glenn Straub is due to close on a $95.4 million purchase of the shuttered casino Monday — assuming a federal appeals court allows it to go forward. A hearing on that matter will be held Friday in Philadelphia.

Straub has threatened to walk away from the sale if it is delayed much past Monday.

Revel says a cutoff would violate a court order and has asked a judge to fine ACR $10 million, plus $1 million for each day it fails to provide service.

Mold growth, frozen pipes and difficulty fighting fires are just some of the problems a utility shutoff could cause at the building.

Stuart Brown, an attorney for ACR, said ample notice would be given before a potential shutoff "to make sure life, health and safety issues are provided for."


Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC