Developer, former casino owner Deifik dies in crash driving home from Rockies game

Bruce Deifik at the Ocean Resort Casino opening weekend ribbon cutting ceremony with Mark Wahlberg on June 28, 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Ocean Resort Casino )

DENVER — Bruce Deifik, the Colorado developer who lost a fortune running a struggling Atlantic City, New Jersey, casino for six months, was killed in a single-car crash in Denver. He was 64.

Deifik had been driving home Sunday from a Rockies game in Denver, his lawyer, Paul O’Gara, said Monday.

The medical examiner is still investigating what might have caused the crash, O’Gara said, including the possibility Deifik suffered a medical crisis behind the wheel.

Deifik was in the process of turning over his majority ownership of the casino to New York hedge fund Luxor Capital at the time of his death.

That transaction has not yet closed but is likely to be completed soon.

The casino is the former Revel property that Deifik bought and reopened in June.

Deifik, who had several successful developments in Colorado including shopping centers, bought the former Revel property sight unseen from Florida developer Glenn Straub, and reopened it on June 27 under the new name Ocean Resort.

It began losing money after just two months and continued to bleed red ink as fall gave way to winter.

Deifik tried to refinance the property but was unable to do so, finally agreeing to turn over his majority ownership to Luxor, which was one of the project’s lenders.

Ocean Resort lost $3.2 million in September; $4.1 million in October; $5.5 million in November; and $5.8 million in December.

The casino responded by reducing its cash and reserves and delaying payment on more of its bills.

Luxor is investing $70 million into the casino resort and is developing a new marketing plan to try to pump up business.

A trustee is overseeing the property until the ownership transfer is completed, something that could happen within the next few weeks.

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