The process of eliminating the former Trump Plaza casino from the Atlantic City skyline has begun and will continue until its time for the final boom sometime next year. The work began this month by a demolition crew from Pennsylvania and they started by gutting the interior and taking down portions of the building in preparation for the big implosion of the 10.5-acre Carl Icahn’s property. The demolition began at part of a lower level next to one of the towers and Haines & Kibblehouse has installed an elevator to facilitate the gutting of the building’s interior. The entire property, including its Boardwalk frontage, has been fenced off but a Rainforest Cafe in a separate building on the property continues to operate on the Boardwalk.
The property, with the main tower and an east tower, sits at the center of the Boardwalk, at the foot of the Atlantic City Expressway. And the city hopes the property can be sold or leased and then developed, possibly as an extension of the nearby Tanger outlets.
The once-iconic casino, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino opened on May 1984, with a top-coated Donald Trump posing for photos on a casino floor of pure carpets red walls and mirrored ceilings and chandeliers.
On Monday, a small group of evangelical marchers, urging people to repent, noisily walked by along Pacific Avenue with signs and bullhorns, an event apparently unrelated to the work at the once-iconic casino. But it closed on Septemeber 16 in 2014 and it was one of the four casinos in Atlantic City to close that very year. At the time of its closure, Trump was no longer the owner of the property and that is partly why its Trump logos were removed or painted over under pressure from the Trump Organization. Trump was actually cut out of any ownership take of his Atlantic City properties in 2009, other than a 10% fee for the use of his name on what were then three Trump casinos in the city, including the Trump Marina and Trump Taj Mahal. That ended when Icahn took ownership of the company.
And by the end of its existence, the casino sported stained carpets, squeaky revolving doors, and failing room service. And after its closure, it served as a backdrop for a Hillary Clinton rally.
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr., who has been advocating for some time now for the building’s demolition, said Tuesday that a final timeline was still being worked on. He wants the building down by February, while Icahn has submitted plans for a June 2021. In fact, a spokesman for Icahn, who had been trying to get public funds for the demolition, did not respond to a message, nor did a spokesman for the demolition company. Icahn assumed ownership of Trump’s former casino company from bankruptcy court in 2016.