Former Trump Plaza Atlantic City Casino Goes Out With A Bang

The Atlantic City Trump Plaza demolished in 20 seconds The Atlantic City Boardwalk created space for a new real estate venture following the demolishing of the former Trump Plaza...

The Atlantic City Trump Plaza demolished in 20 seconds

The Atlantic City Boardwalk created space for a new real estate venture following the demolishing of the former Trump Plaza casino/hotel. The former Trump property was demolished with a series of explosives activated at 9 a.m. that collapsed the entire building within 20 seconds.

Though it only took 20 seconds to completely tear down, there was a heavy cloud of dust covering the beach and Boardwalk. The remaining rubble is estimated to be eight stories tall and the removal project is set to be complete by June 10.

This demolition project eliminated the main building of the Trump Plaza but additional parts of the casino-hotel complex remaining on the Boardwalk and Pacific Avenue that will be demolished in the near future. Environmentalists have shown interest in utilizing some of the remaining building pieces for an artificial fishing reef off the coast of Atlantic City.

The removal of the former Trump Plaza is apart of an Atlantic City project to make way for a prime development opportunity in the middle of the Boardwalk. The former Plaza was marketed as “Atlantic City’s centerpiece” opening in 1984 that built notoriety through hosting sporting events that would draw huge celebrity crowds with boxing matches featuring Mike Tyson.

The opening events manager for the casino from 1984 to 1991, Bernie Dillon, attested to the success of hosting sporting events that brought in celebrity guests including Hulk Hogan, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Jack Nickolson, Warren Beatty, Madonna, Sean Penn, Barbara Streisand, Don Johnson, Muhammad Ali, and Oprah who were all hosted by Trump himself.

Despite the initial booming success, the Plaza started to suffer when Trump opened a nearby second competing casino/hotel known as the Trump Taj Mahal in 1990. Trump poured most of its resources and cash into a shiny new casino/hotel under crushing debt loans.

Former staff members of the Atlantic City Plaza attest business swiftly declined shortly after the opening of the Trump Taj Mahal in 1990. The president of the main casino workers’ union, Bob McDevitt, disclosed, “In order to make sure the Taj Mahal was successful, they shipped all the high rollers from Trump Plaza and Trump’s Castle to the Taj, and they really didn’t invest in the Plaza much.”

Despite all the efforts, the Trump Taj Mahal declared bankruptcy in 2014 and later reopened the acquisition casino under new ownership as the Hard Rock after Carl Ichan acquired the property. Atlantic City has experienced a massive decline in business due to an oversaturated casino market in the New Jersey city with four Atlantic City casinos in 2014 for a total of 12 casinos and now there are only nine.

Trump built the Plaza complex but a donor and former special economic adviser to Trump, Carl Icahn, acquired two of the remaining Trump casinos from the last of their many bankruptcies owned by both properties in 2016. This deal happened during the 2016 election when Trump was focusing less on his real estate ventures and more on his presidential run. The Trump Plaza was the poorest-performing casino in Atlantic City with the same profits from glambers within 8.5 months and with the market-leading competition, Borgata, garnishing the same profits consistently every two weeks.

The mayor of Atlantic City supported the demolition project, proposing the project acts as a fundraiser for the Boys And Girls Club of Atlantic City by holding action for the right to press the demolition trigger. Icahn objected to the idea citing safety and liability issues resulting in the auction house halting bids.

The auction reached a staggering $175,000 before being halted but Icahn promises to donate a matching amount to the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City. They also featured a fundraiser for a VIP view of the implosion that benefitted the organization more than $16,000.

After clearing the demolition rubble for development, the former Trump property will serve as a new parking lot while permanent development projects are considered.