The closed-down Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City has been distancing itself even further from its golden days as casino workers were recently spotted dismantling its iconic minarets and other decor that had decorated the Indian-styled casino’s facade for over twenty years. It was back in the 1990’s when the casino first opened its doors, owned by now President of the United States Donald Trump.
Trump touted the casino as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, and became one of Atlantic City’s most popular and glamorous gambling destinations during the city’s heyday. However, two decades later, the casino complex ran into challenge after challenge, many of which stemmed from new casino competition from the states neighbouring New Jersey. Trump had also begun to cut ties with the complex, eventually selling the Trump Taj Mahal and his other local properties as he prepared for his future career in politics.
In 2015, New York entrepreneur Carl Icahn acquired the Indian-themed casino, saving it from insolvency with the hopes of reviving it to its former glory and increasing its dwindling foot traffic. However, Icahn’s plan failed, with the casino eventually closing its doors late in 2016. Icahn blamed a long-standing workers’ strike for his decision to close the casino, noting that it had impacted severely on the property’s revenues. Florida-based operator Hard Rock International was next to purchase the property this year, planning to redevelop it into one of their iconic rock-themed resorts. The dismantling of the Trump Taj Mahal’s decor and minarets is a part of this planned renovation – but regardless, these were the last reminders of the casino’s glory days, bringing back nostalgic memories for many Vegas visitors. In the meantime, Hard Rock has invested $500 million into the new property, which it expects to open in summer of 2018.
It is interesting to note that this is not the only Trump-owned casino that will be demolished this year. The Trump Plaza Casino will be destroyed over the next few months; a move that has been a long time coming since the complex closed its doors back in 2014 due to financial difficulties. Icahn is also the owner of this casino at the present, although he has not commented on its upcoming demolishment. The Trump Plaza will need to be tested for asbestos before it is destroyed, and will need the required permissions before the $40 million demolition begins over the coming months.