Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small announced one of his goals for 2020 is to demolish the vacant Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, the last property in the city that still bears President Donald Trump's name. Small, who took office in October, revealed his plan during the Metropolitan Business & Citizens Association’s annual winter luncheon at Caesars Atlantic City.
Matt Doherty, executive director of the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, also revealed his respective goals for 2020 at the same luncheon held Thursday.
Mayor Small and Doherty, who was the event’s keynote speaker, spent the afternoon addressing concerns residents, entrepreneurs and tourists have brought up for years. The two are keen in painting a positive picture of things to come for The World’s Playground.
Toward the closing of his speech, Mayor Small vowed to act on the vacant Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, which reportedly enticed a round of applause from those in attendance.
The abandoned Trump Plaza Casino is located on the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk at the base of the Atlantic City Expressway, leading straight into town. Hoards of people see it on their daily commute. “My administration’s goal is to tear Trump Plaza down,” Small said, according to a report by The Press of Atlantic City. "That’s not accepted in any other city but Atlantic City. It’s an embarrassment, it’s blight on our skyline, and that’s the biggest eyesore in town."
In 2016, billionaire Wall Street investor Carl Icahn purchased the vacant building. The Trump Plaza Casino was set for demolition in spring 2018, but plans stalled due to disputes over funding. The plan to tear down the old Trump casino was then moved to fall 2018, but that deadline passed with no action taken on the empty property.
Mayor Small also revealed a new 90-day code enforcement review panel would start next week to help combat issues with blight, vacant buildings and properties.
Formerly owned by Donald Trump under the company Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2004, 2009 and 2014. After the bankruptcy filing in 2014, the company closed Trump Plaza. It was the fourth casino to close in Atlantic City that year following the Atlantic Club, Showboat and Revel.
If Mayor Small’s plan comes to fruition in 2020, the sole remaining Trump-named casino in The World’s Playground will be torn down. Trump owned other casino properties in Atlantic City. The former Trump Marina (also formerly Trump’s Castle) is currently known as the Golden Nugget Atlantic City Hotel, Casino & Marina. The former Trump Taj Mahal is now the Hard Rock Hotel Casino.