A Norstone Hurricane Story
Norstone’s main office is located in Central Florida and was impacted by Hurricane Irma earlier this week. Our office, warehouse, and employee’s homes were thankfully spared from any severe damage caused by the storm, but many of our employees and our warehouse are still without power, putting normal life on hold. Many of our long time dealers scattered throughout Florida are still without power and have experienced major destruction to their showrooms and I’m sure their employee’s homes, particularly in the hardest hit areas of Southwest Florida. We’ll lift these folks up and come together as a tile and stone community to help rebuild and help each other wherever possible.
This hurricane experience reminded us of another hurricane event that a featured project of ours played a large role in – the Revel Casino boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ, which was hit hard by Hurricane / Superstorm Sandy in October of 2012.
To say this project was star crossed from the beginning is somewhat of an understatement. We initially started working with the design firm in late 2008 on a serpentine stone wall that would separate the hotel and casino from the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk. The project fell victim to the great economic downturn of the late 2000s and ended up in a cycle of bankruptcy and new ownership many times. We spoke to multiple contractors for several years who submitted bids only to see the project change hands and fall into bankruptcy. The project finally got off the ground and moving again in 2011 when we delivered the first of several container loads of our Charcoal Stacked Stone Veneer to the project.
At the time, this project in the the tens of thousands of square feet of stone was the biggest job we had ever worked on, and seeing it come together was really special. In these photos taken during construction we loved how the curves of the wall worked so nicely with the curves of the first couple floors of the tower itself. The curves then also form a cool juxtaposition with the traditional chevron pattern of the boardwalk. As we’ve looked at before, the monochromatic charcoal color of the stone has a great modern feel, and in the case of the Revel the stone complements the steel and glass facade of the tower and made this property truly standout, particularly against some of the older casino properties in Atlantic City.
Cut outs designed for up and down lighting on the stacked stone offered up a great visual break in a large scale project like this. The random placement and size of the cut outs also help create visual interest on a wall of this magnitude. The bluestone cap material was so large that it had to be lowered into place and set with the use of a small crane, and matches up very well color wise with the charcoal stacked stone.
The storm surge associated with Superstorm Sandy pushed the water up and over the boardwalk, flooding this wall. The Revel Casino made it through the storm mostly unscathed, but Atlantic City as a whole took a major hit from this storm and lost much of its drawing power as a gambling and entertainment destination for many months. The Revel closed in September of 2014, along with three of the four other casinos in Atlantic City and has since traded hands a few more times, but not re-opened yet. We look forward to the day when new ownership and the right economic conditions make it possible for this property to re-open and hopefully prosper.
As we deal with the clean up of our own recent hurricane experience, the Revel Casino project reminds us of all the impacts a storm like this can cause. We’d like to thank our customers for bearing with us as we begin shipping orders out today based on carrier availability and look forward to seeing all of our Florida and Southeastern US based wholesale stone and tile partners come back stronger than before over the next couple days and weeks to help Florida and the Southeastern US recover and rebuild.