By Veronica Dudo and Diana Rocco

ATLANTIC CITY (CBS) — With a champagne toast at sunrise, Revel Chief Executive Officer Kevin DeSantics thanked employees for all of their hard work leading up to the mega resort’s opening.

New Jersey’s Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, along with other state and local dignitaries, joined the festivities and toured the expansive property.

As the sun rose up over the Atlantic Ocean, officials couldn’t have staged a better setting to send a very clear message—the dawn of a new era has begun in Atlantic City.

The seaside gaming resort’s highly anticipated new casino-hotel opened its doors to the public Monday, April 2nd, allowing patrons the opportunity to explore the 6.3-million-square-foot beachfront complex.

As customers walked in for the first time, DeSantics said they would be impressed by Revel’s unique features which distinctly sets it apart from Atlantic City’s other casinos.

“We are a total resort. If you enjoy gambling that’s terrific, but when you go up on our SkyGarden or if you go to our pools or if you go to our day life or nightlife environment, I think you just find a completely different experience and so it broadens the experience. Generally people think of Atlantic City as just a gambling orientation and we’re much broader than that,” DeSantics explained.

The new addition to the gaming capitol of the East Coast begins an eight week preview leading up to a grand opening over Memorial Day Weekend.

Guadagno says the facility not only signifies a strong new beginning for the city, but also the state.

“It’s the story of the ‘New Jersey comeback’ not only in Atlantic City, but in the state of New Jersey and in the region. I am sure that with the opening of Revel and the creation of the Atlantic City Tourism District, New Jersey is and will continue to be a tourism destination,” said Guadagno.

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