Friday, January 22, 2021

Implosion! New Jersey's Fitting Trump Sendoff

New Jersey's largest newspaper, The Star Ledger, is reporting that Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, is set for implosion on February 17th. After that date, all four of Trump's AC casinos—Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, Trump World's Fair and Trump Marina—will officially be no more. 

Trump Plaza one month before it closed.  So classy. (Photo | Dan McQuade)


Casino implosion set for Feb. 17

Katie Kausch For The Star-Ledger

After one final delay, Trump Plaza has a new implosion date, Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small announced.

The implosion of the long-shuttered casino is now set for Feb. 17 at 9 a.m., Small said at a Thursday morning press conference. It was pushed back from a Jan. 29 implosion date earlier this month.

The delay was caused by a large concrete foundation that was originally unknown to demolition teams, licensing and inspection director Darryl Finch said at the press conference.

Pre-implosion demolition work remains underway, including drilling holes inside the structure to place dynamite, Finch said.

The implosion will impact a several- block area, and will include evacuation zones and areas where people are not allowed outside their buildings, Rick Bianchi with the Atlantic City Police Department said. Details on which blocks and buildings will be affected are not yet finalized.

An auction to push the button at the implosion fell apart after owner Carl Icahn objected, citing safety concerns, auctioneer Joseph Bodnar, owner of Bodnar’s Auction, told NJ Advance Media.

Meant to be a fundraiser to benefit the local Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City, Icahn has pledged to donate $174,000 to the organization to replace money lost in the cancellation.

Icahn Enterprises, run by conservative billionaire Icahn, took ownership of the building in 2016 after Donald Trump divested from the property.

Since the cancellation of the fundraiser, Hard Rock and Oceans casinos have each donated five rooms, to be auctioned off for overnight stays before winners can watch from a prime viewing slot at One Atlantic to benefit the organization, Small said. Donations for the Boys & Girls Club are also being collected.

For those who can’t bid on a room, Bader Field will be used as a viewing area, Small said. Watchers will be charged for parking and asked to watch from the safety of their cars.

“The city can’t be naive to think that no one will show up. It has nothing to do with the former president. If it was any building in the city being imploded, people will come,” Small said.

The casino has been an eyesore in Atlantic City for years, with discussions of an implosion dating to at least 2017. The casino shuttered in 2014 after about 30 years in business.

Contrary to what Trump may have led you to believe, he didn't sell his Atlantic City holdings; he lost them. Bigly. He filed for bankruptcy not once, not twice, not three times, but four times: in 1991, 2004, 2009 and 2014. Surprised? You shouldn't be. What is happening on February 17th is a fitting metaphor for how he left our country: broken, battered, bashed and deeply in debt.

I've written about Atlantic City before (herehere, here, here, here to name a few). And I've been there many times. Despite a poverty rate over 40%, it has a lot going for it: some of the best restaurants I've ever eaten in (The Knife and Fork, Docks Oyster House, Buddahkan, Los Amigos, Angelos Fairmount Tavern) a beautiful beach, a fabulous retail outlet center, and some very nice hotels. But for reasons beyond my bandwidth of fiscal understanding, 43 years of gambling revenue could never get it out from under its bad rap of a honky-tonk, low-life town where more dreams are lost than won, and that's devastatingly unfair to all the hard-working people who live and work there.

So, it's no surprise that the last vestiges of Donald Trump are a failed coup attempt on our nation's capitol and the implosion of one of his long-shuttered properties in the second poorest city in New Jersey.

If I didn't have to work that day, I'd be there in Atlantic City cheering on the implosion and the dream that will—hopefully—arise from its ashes.

Buh-bye, Donnie. Can't say we'll miss ya.

Note: All emphasis mine.