Trump About To Implode–The Casino, Not The President

Posted By Bart Shirley on November 8, 2017

[toc]Trump Plaza, the landmark property bearing the now-President’s name, is scheduled to be razed in a few short months. According to Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, engineers will implode the abandoned casino sometime in Spring 2018.

No company has filed a demolition permit with the city, however. The property, which opened its doors in 1986, must undergo a remediation process for asbestos prior to its destruction.

Billionaire Carl Icahn owns the property but has yet to comment about the upcoming demolition. According to Guardian, the hotel tower and parking garage will be spared the wrecking ball.

Trump Plaza has been decaying steadily since it closed its doors in 2014. For the last two weeks, liquidators have been selling off the fixtures and other pieces inside the building.

The implosion will mark the end for a property that was a symbol of both Atlantic City’s opulence at its height and its subsequent decline. Trump Plaza was the fourth casino on the shore to go dark in one year. Its sister property, the Trump Taj Mahal, shuttered two years later.

In the end, the implosion is about the location

Trump Plaza’s demise will come largely due to its prime position in Atlantic City’s landscape. The location’s value is too great for city planners and/or potential investors to allow a building to slowly decay.

Trump Plaza is located at roughly the midpoint of the Boardwalk. The property lies almost directly across the street from the Steel Pier, and is next door to historic Boardwalk Hall.

The property is also directly accessible from the Atlantic City Expressway without any turns. Visitors to the city can find the Trump Plaza (and Taj Mahal, for that matter) merely by going straight off the freeway.

There may be a silver lining here

Tearing down a casino is usually a bad economic sign. Atlantic City has been weathering a downturn in recent years due to the Great Recession and the proliferation of casinos in nearby locales.

The good news is that the timing of the implosion may signal things are looking up. Atlantic City revenues are on the rebound, and city planners may see a light at the end of the tunnel. Imploding a property which has sat vacant for three years may mean a sense of urgency has arisen.

That said, the last casino to implode in Atlantic City was the Sands in 2007. The goal of that implosion was to build a $2 billion-dollar megaresort.

No such construction ever took place. City planners need to take care not to repeat history this time.

Photo by Joseph Sohm /

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Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley is a writer and poker player from Houston, Texas. When he's not teaching high school math and business, Bart writes about the NJ online casino industry and US online poker. He has a master's degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a degree in English from Texas A&M.

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