Saying Final Farewells To Trump Plaza As Implosion Day Draws Closer

Posted By Bill Gelman on November 10, 2020 - Last Updated on December 28, 2020

Mark those calendars for Jan. 29, 2021. This is the date the former Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino is scheduled to be imploded.

Yes, the event is long overdue.

And some may find irony regarding the date. President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony takes place nine days earlier. President Donald Trump will be exiting the White House.

Election Day controversies aside, the implosion is going to forever change the Atlantic City skyline.

And there are no details regarding whether or not public viewing areas will be set up.

In any case, here is the current status of and implosion plans for Trump Plaza AC.

The closing chapter of Trump’s Atlantic City saga

The Trump name no longer appears on the building (unless you stop and look real close).

Gone are the glitz and glamour from opening day in May 1984. Remember the days when the Trump Plaza name could be seen from miles away?

Funny how the first piece of Trump’s Atlantic City casino empire is the last one standing. Of course, the definition of “standing” is questionable at this point.

Here’s a look at the current state of Trump Plaza.

And here’s a look at how things looked back in August.

Who owns Trump Plaza in Atlantic City?

Trump exited AC long before becoming the 45th president of the United States. Carl Icahn owns the property, which has been shuttered since September 2014, and will play a role in what happens next.

Icahn took over ownership of Trump Plaza (along with the former Trump Taj Mahal) in February 2016. The Taj was sold and reopened as Hard Rock Atlantic City.

In March, Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. held a press conference outside of Boardwalk Hall seeking a court order to have the former hotel and casino immediately demolished.

The two sides have since worked out a plan.

Basically, the story of Trump Plaza can best be described as a roller-coaster ride.

Will a new casino be built in Trump Plaza’s place?

Don’t bet on it. For one, Atlantic City casinos are operating at 25% capacity as a result of state-mandated coronavirus restrictions.

More importantly, the land comes with a deed restriction preventing future casino development.

Then again, look how long it took to legalize NJ sports betting.

Never say never.

Will there be a public viewing area for the implosion?

Possibly, but nothing has been announced.

Attracting a big crowd, like when the Sands was imploded in 1996, seems unlikely. That event brought 100,000-plus people into town.

This time around, there is a global pandemic putting a small wrinkle into any planning. Outdoor gatherings of that magnitude are just a bad idea these days.

Who knows what the social distancing guidelines be like come January?

And do you really want to stand outside in the middle of winter?

Here’s an idea: Book a room at Caesars Atlantic City that includes a view of  Trump Plaza.

Livestreaming is another possibility.

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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and now NJ sports betting and online gambling.

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