Trump’s Atlantic City casino imploded
An Atlantic City casino that had fallen into disrepair has been imploded.
The ABC reports that crowds cheered as the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino was demolished on Wednesday.
Mr Trump was a real estate developer before moving into politics and opened the hotel and oceanside casino in 1984, butlost control of the property in a 2009 bankruptcy.
A rapid series of explosive dynamite booms heralded the deliberate destruction of the skeletal building, which dissolved into a pile of rubbish that sent enormous brown clouds swirling around surrounding structures in the Jersey Shore resort city known for gambling, beaches and its boardwalk.
It took the decrepit building about seven seconds to completely collapse onto the sand, vanishing from the boardwalk skyline shortly after 9am local time.
“I got chills”, Atlantic City mayor Marty Small said.
“This is a historic moment. It was exciting.”
He estimated the remaining pile of rubbish was about eight stories tall and would be removed by June 10.
Some of it could be used by environmentalists interested in building an artificial fishing reef off the coast of Atlantic City.
Air horn blasts, whistling and cheers erupted as several hundred people,most of them wearing masks to guard against the spread of COVID-19, milled around pickup trucks parked nearby to watch the spectacle.
Onlookers were charged US$10 for a prime viewing spot in an area that was recently used as a food distribution site for the struggling city of 38,000 people.
The casino was Atlantic City’s tenth and in addition to gambling, hosted heavyweight boxing prize fights.
Mr Trump’s name remained on the business as part of a licence agreement until 2014, when the casino closed as Atlantic City struggled as a gambling resort, with growing competition in other states.
Billionaire investor Carl C Icahn acquired it out of bankruptcy in 2016.
Glamour Trump casino and hotel used in movies
The casino even had a cameo in the film Ocean’s Eleven.
When George Clooney and Brad Pitt recruited actor Bernie Mac’s character to help with a Las Vegas casino heist, they plucked him from Trump Plaza, where he was a dealer.
Bob McDevitt, president of the casino workers’ union, said the place oozed glamour and buzz when it first opened.
But things began to sour for Trump Plaza when Donald Trump opened the nearby Trump Taj Mahal in 1990, with crushing debt loads that led the company to pour most of its resources and cash into the shiny new hotel and casino.
“The moment that the Taj Mahal opened up, it began a decline for the Plaza,” Mr McDevitt said.
“In order to make sure the Taj Mahal was successful, they shipped all the high rollers from Trump Plaza and Trump’s Castle to the Taj, and they didn’t invest in the Plaza much.”
The Trump Taj Mahal, one of the casinos acquired by Mr Icahn, has since reopened under new ownership as Hard Rock.
By the time it closed, Trump Plaza was the poorest performing casino in Atlantic City, taking in as much money from gamblers in eight and a half months as the market leading Borgata did every two weeks.
Short-term plans call for the site to be paved to provide new parking while a permanent development project is considered.