December 21, 2020
One of Donald Trump’s former casinos is being blown up in Atlantic City next month, and for the right price, you could get a chance to press the button that brings the structure down. The demolition of the now-defunct Trump Plaza Casino is a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City, and the authorities hope to raise around $1 million from the event.
Established in 1984, the Trump Plaza Casino has been in a state of disrepair since 2014, and demolition work began earlier in 2020. The remaining portion of the structure will be brought down on January 29, and the mayor hopes to raise sufficient funds for a good cause.
“Trump Plaza is an iconic Atlantic City property and has been a part of numerous enthralling moments in the city’s history. But on his way out, Donald Trump made a mockery of Atlantic City by saying he made a fortune before wrapping operations. I wanted to use the opportunity and raise money for the charity during demolition”, said Marty Small, Sr., Atlantic City Mayor.
The Boys & Girls Club has engaged a professional auctioneer to arrange bids from prospective suitors, and the bidding process will continue till January 19. Thereafter, the top bids will be revealed, while a live auction will name a winner. The Boys & Girls Club organizes summer recreation, after-school, educational, and career-training programs for Atlantic City youngsters. At the time of publication, a total of sixteen people participated in the auction, and the highest bid was $102,000.
Donald Trump inaugurated the Trump Plaza in the heart of the Atlantic City Boardwalk. The resort regularly hosted numerous high-profile boxing matches that Trump would attend. Come 2014, four Atlantic City casinos shut down, including the Trump Plaza.
The Trump Taj Mahal, which shut shop in 2016, now belongs to billionaire investor Carl Icahn and operates as the Hard Rock casino. After the sale was formally closed, Trump sued for the immediate removal of his name from both properties. “I had left Atlantic City a long time ago. People think we own the casinos. But we don’t”, Trump had said to an Associated Press correspondent back in 2016.
Donald Trump is a controversial figure in Atlantic City. While he is known to have created numerous job opportunities, his business decisions were frequently criticized. Steven Perskie, an influential casino regulator from the 90s, had revealed in 2016 that the ex-President’s decisions left numerous local workers high and dry.
“Trump put a long list of local contractors and suppliers out of business when he didn’t pay them their dues. So, when he left Atlantic City, people weren’t sorry to see him leave. On the contrary, the question was How soon can you leave?” Perskie added.
The Trump Plaza has been lying vacant for almost six years, and the decision to dismantle the structure was made earlier this year when a portion of its façade broke off and came crashing down. Additional debris from the hotel fell on the Boardwalk during another storm.
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