After many delays, there is a final date set for the implosion of Trump Plaza. The event, which takes place this week, has significant significance for Atlantic City, where the facility was part of the landscape for decades.
The casino opened in May 1984. It was then only the 10th casino in the city just seven years after gambling was legalized in 1977.
So Donald Trump was only at the beginning of his career as a casino mogul and Trump Plaza was his first attempt at the business.
During the pre-approval process In 1981, Trump told the Star-Ledger that his complex would determine the future of Atlantic City.
The property represented a 39-story building with a casino of 60,000 square feet and more of 600 hotel rooms. In the 80s it was the largest arcade in the city.
Not all went well for Trump Plaza at first. It was opened with malfunctioning slot machines and a faulty fire alarm injured two women. Things have changed later when Trump started building his empire.
The peak came in 1996 when Trump’s casino empire generated as many as 6,100 jobs in the Plaza alone.
Regarding development, Trump said in 1998: “I made Atlantic City a really good place, and now it’s a place where people want to come and invest.”
However, not everyone saw it that way. Senator Jim Whelan, who was the mayor of the city in the 1990s, said during Trump’s first presidential race: “The notion that he was somehow responsible for the success of Atlantic City is not accurate. Nor is he responsible for the problems we have now. “
Plaza closed its doors in 2014. Casino operations ended in September of that year, more than 1,000 workers they lost their jobs and the property became the fourth casino to close that year.
The building was empty for years. It was completely vacated in 2016 when ownership shifted from Trump Entertainment Resorts to Icahn Enterprises.
The implosion plans began in 2017 when the hotel was emptied during an auction.
After years of uncertainty about the future of Trump Plaza, Mayor Marty Small proposed to tear down Trump’s building as a target of his administration, calling it an “embarrassment” to Atlantic City.
Last summer, Small announced that Trump Plaza would be demolished in late 2021. After delays, this week will mark the end of an era for Atlantic City.
It is not yet clear what will happen to the site after the building collapses and the cleanup takes place. Last year, Mayor Small shared his plans to establish a family entertainment facility, since the city lacks precisely that.
Source: “Trump Plaza Implosion Marks the End of an Atlantic City Empire,” NJ, February 14, 2021