Trump casino implosion to go to highest bidder

by Mia Chapman Last Updated
Trump’s Atlantic City casino imploded

A former casino of President Donald Trump will be blown up next month and a bidding war has ensued over who gets to press the button that brings it all down.

Sydney Morning Herald reports the demolition of the former Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic CIty will become a fundraiser to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City that the mayor hopes will raise more than US$1 million.

Opened in 1984, Trump’s former casino was closed in 2014 and has fallen into such a state of disrepair that demolition work began earlier this year.

The remainder of the structure will be dynamited on January 29.

“Some of Atlantic City’s iconic moments happened there, but on his way out, Donald Trump openly mocked Atlantic City, saying he made a lot of money and then got out,” mayor Marty Small said.

“I wanted to use the demolition of this place to raise money for charity.”

The Boys and Girls Club has hired a professional auction company to solicit bids until January 19, when the top bids will be revealed and a live auction will determine a winner.

The organisation provides after-school and summer recreation, education and career-training programs for Atlantic City children and teens.

Trump, then a real estate developer, opened the casino in a prime spot at the centre of Atlantic City’s Boardwalk where the Atlantic City Expressway deposited cars entering the resort.

It was the site of many high-profile boxing matches, which Trump would regularly attend.

It closed in 2014, one of four Atlantic CIty casinos to shut down that year, followed by another former Trump casino, the Taj Mahal in 2016.

That property has since reopened as the Hard Rock casino.

The third casino Trump used to own, Trump Marina, was sold to Texas billionaire Tilman Fertitta in 2011 and is now the Golden Nugget.

Trump cut most ties with Atlantic City in 2009 aside from a 10 per cent fee for the use of his name on what were then three casinos in the city.

That stake was extinguished when billionaire Carl Icahn took ownership of the company out of bankruptcy court in February 2016.

Trump Plaza has sat empty for six years and has been deteriorating.

Earlier this year, large pieces of the facade broke loose from one of the hotel towers and came crashing to the ground.

In one storm, additional debris fell from the structure onto the Boardwalk.

Icahn owns the former Trump Plaza building and has agreed to the demolition.

Small said he is eager to discuss potential uses for the land with Icahn once the casino is gone, including some sort of family attraction.

“Not often does inner-city oceanfront land open up,” the mayor said.

“We have one chance to get this right.”

The last casino implosion in Atlantic City was in October 2007 when the former Sands casino was dynamited to make way for a new casino-hotel project that ultimately was never built.

Atlantic City mayor wants to demolish Trump Plaza

The mayor of Atlantic City has said he will tear down the shuttered Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino as one of his administration’s main goals for 2020.

Casino News Daily reported in January that mayor Marty Small delivered his unofficial State of the City address during the annual winter luncheon of the Metropolitan Business and Citizens Association, which took place at Caesars Atlantic City last Thursday.

Trump Plaza was once owned by US President Donald Trump.

The property closed doors in September, 2014.

By that time, Mr Trump had cut ties with Atlantic City and had left its casino industry.

In October 2014, he filed a lawsuit against the property’s then owners to have his name removed from the vacant building.

His business eventually kept a small stake in the property in return for the use of his name, but that one has since been extinguished.

Trump Plaza is currently owned by New York billionaire business Carl Icahn.

The former hotel and casino complex was considered for demolition for nearly three years, but the process has been delayed.

Mayor Small said this week that his administration’s goal is to “tear Trump Plaza down” and that the vacant property’s demolition being delayed for years would “not be accepted in any other city but Atlantic City.”

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