abandoned Trump Plaza

When Donald Trump got out of the casino game, he left behind mountains of debt and acres of dilapidated casinos. The former Trump Plaza in Atlantic City finally has a date with destruction; it will be imploded in June 2021.

Crumbling Boardwalk Empire

Founded in 1984, the Trump Plaza casino hotel has been vacant since 2014, from which time it has been slowly crumbling into ruin. During high winds, chunks of the building’s facade fall to the ground onto the Boardwalk. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn bought the ailing casino after it closed and has been sitting on the property ever since.

The city government has requested that Icahn destroy the massive eyesore in the name of public safety, and at the very least, town aesthetics. But Icahn wanted Atlantic City to foot the costs of its destruction, a demand the city would not or could not meet.

Atlantic City has been through boom and bust and boom again and again since the 1920s. The most recent recession occurred after the global financial crisis of 2008, when the Boardwalk Empire began crumbling.

Blow It Up Sooner

The city went to court seeking an emergency order to destroy Trump Plaza, and Carl Icahn finally submitted a plan for imploding the casino and its tower. The building will be imploded by June 2021, leaving only parking lots and prime beachfront real estate. But AC Mayor Marty Small wants to blow it up sooner.

Mayor SmallMayor Small said the June 2021 destruction date is unacceptable due to the summer busy season. He wants the building destroyed by the end of February 2020 in order to leave time for cleanup before summer.

The plans are for them to implode both towers, bringing the building down,” Small said. “The only thing we have to work on is the timeline.”

Initial estimates for the demolition sit at around $14 million, but the costs could be higher. Icahn has agreed to pay the cost of the implosion, without any public financing.

Other former AC casino tombs include the Trump Taj Mahal, which was bought and renovated by Hard Rock International. Casinos in Las Vegas have regularly been built, bought, blown up, and rebuilt for decades, but Atlantic City hasn’t seen a fraction of the success of Sin City.


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Thomas McCoy was born in Bethesda, Maryland and studied finance at the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington D.C. before heading to New York and a job as a forex trader on Wall Street. Successful enough to launch his own, online forex trading platform, Thomas has long had a keen interest in the places where the worlds of finance and technology meet. As a prolific blogger, Thomas considers himself an expert on cryptocurrencies, casino asset restructuring, and emerging technologies set to change the way people do business.