Fourth of this year’s closures goes ahead with the Trump Plaza shutting up shop but will the man himself save the day?
As the public hearing on auctioning off the Revel descended into accusations, recriminations, threats and a soap-opera-esque last minute mystery bidder, the Trump Plaza became the fourth casino to close its doors for the final time last Tuesday after poor performance racking up debts. Whilst the saturation of the gambling market in the northeastern region brought about by competition from neighboring states was a driving factor in the closure some point to poor management over a number of years.
The Slump And The City
• The history of blackjack at the Plaza ends
• More unemployed in Atlantic City
• Trump rethink unlikely to save the day
“It was so sad to see it get a little worse every year,” said Plaza regular Jim Redmond, “they seemed to give up about five years ago.” Which might be a little harsh given the economic circumstances under which the casino was doing business. The Atlantic Club, Showboat and Revel all also shut down this year slashing the number of casinos in Atlantic City from 12 to just 8. This has left 8,000 people out of work and left a hole in the local economy that will be hard to fill whatever the city’s post casino strategy for the sites may be.
Donald Trump, who sued to have his name removed from both the Plaza and the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, and who has only a 9% stake in Trump Entertainment Resorts that owns the Plaza, has said he “will be taking a very serious look” at buying back the company after it declared bankruptcy, adding, “I got out years ago, the timing was good but I feel really badly about the people. I’ll take a good strong look at it.” But none of the newly redundant staff have time to wait for Trump’s smart strategies to be considered.
“You think something will come along.” Said freshly jobless Ruth Hardrick who had been a dealer at the Plaza for over 26 years, “And it didn’t.” She’s not alone in her disappointment or quandary as to what to do next. Theresa Volpe who had worked as a cocktail server for over a quarter of a century in the Plaza said, “I don’t know if we’re going to have a difficult time because of our age,” she said. “Someone in their 50s is not necessarily what they want. Friends have been to interviews and they never get called back.” Whether the Plaza gets called back remains in the hands of Trump and Co.