Soon to be imploded, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City has been closed since 2014 and is a constant reminder of the hard times that hit America’s Playground. Once the site of a Japanese high roller’s $10 million loss that inspired Scorsese’s film Casino, the Plaza’s contents are being liquidated. No date has been set yet, but once an asbestos remediation is completed, the demolition will be scheduled.
Opened in 1984 on prime oceanfront property, tearing down Trump Plaza should generate a great deal of interest in investment. “The first thing you need to recognize is the Plaza has one of the best locations in the city,” said Ken Calemmo, Co-chair of the Economic Development Committee of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber. “It sits at the base of the expressway and in the center of the Boardwalk. You are guaranteed 29 million plus visitors passing by every year.”
Carl Icahn owns the property now after buying President Donald J. Trump’s Trump Entertainment Resorts out of its fifth bankruptcy. Although no demolition permit has been filed yet, “They are in the process of putting it together,” said Dale Finch, Director of Licensing and Inspection for the city. “It’s going to come down over the next four months.” And Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian confirms.
The former Holiday Inn tower and the parking garage will remain, but this will be the second casino demolished in Atlantic City, after the Sands in 2007. Atlantic City, however, is in the midst of a redevelopment boom with a deliberate focus on a more sustainable future beyond gambling and seasonal attractions.
“I was involved in a feasibility study on the property a few years ago,” said Robert Ambrose, a gaming consultant. “It is on prime real estate with a great deal of possibilities.” One suggestion for the Trump Plaza’s oceanfront property was to transform the site into natural areas of easier access to the Boardwalk and the Atlantic Ocean for tourists less interested in gambling, signaling an identity for AC beyond the blackjack tables.