August 8, 2016 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Inside the Trump Taj Mahal last week, "Ivana's" china was selling at half off. The gold-rimmed plates at the Trump Exchange at the top of the escalator were marked down from $25 apiece to $12.50. A Donald Trump quote - "I like thinking big. You have to think anyway so why not think big?" - still hung on a wall, above an oversize black-and-white portrait of Trump from back in the day. Those remnants of a time in the late 1980s and early 1990s when Atlantic City was "Trump City" could disappear from the public eye if the Taj's new owner, billionaire investor Carl Icahn, closes the four-times-bankrupt casino after Labor Day, as announced last week.
August 7, 2016 |
A judge ruled Friday that an Atlantic City man can keep his longtime property, saying the state Casino Reinvestment Development Authority's attempt to take over the building lacked "any specific and viable plans" and was a "manifest abuse of the eminent domain power. " Charles Birnbaum, 69, owns the three-story brick house along Oriental Avenue a block from the ocean. His parents bought it in 1969. In 1998, an intruder killed his mother and her live-in caretaker there. Birnbaum then created a piano studio in the home to memorialize her, and currently runs his casino piano-tuning business there.
August 3, 2016 |
THIS IS NOT an endorsement of Donald J. Trump. Unlike (most of) you, I met him and I covered him during his high-kick Atlantic City days. So has my colleague Jenice Armstrong, who liked that he always returned her calls quickly. Personally. Who wouldn't? He didn't return my calls so quickly, but I'm not as nice as Jenice. In case you hadn't noticed. I'm going back almost 30 years, to when The Donald was Atlantic City's Biggest Deal, at one time owning three casinos.
July 8, 2016 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Hillary Clinton wanted Missouri and Pacific Avenues, in front of the blank white tower of the now-shuttered Trump Plaza, where you can still make out the impressions left by the letters T-R-U-M-P. But in a town where casinos still hold sway, despite four closing in 2014, that idea was nixed because it would have cut off traffic and business into neighboring Caesars. Instead, Clinton settled in to take aim at her rival on the Boardwalk that helped build his brand, her podium set up on a diagonal so that another Trump remnant, a rubbed-out "TRUMP PLAZA," where lit-up marquee letters had been, was visible behind her. Donald Trump himself had sued to get his name removed in 2014 while the Plaza was in its death throes.
June 9, 2016 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Shortly after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sylvia Hegedus, 53, walked back inside the Showboat for the first time since she closed out a 27-year cocktail waitress career on the casino's last day, Aug. 31, 2014. "I opened it and I closed it," Hegedus said of Showboat, one of four casinos to close that year. "Now we're going to reopen it again. It feels like I'm coming home. " As the Springsteen song "Atlantic City" goes, Maybe everything that dies someday comes back. In this case, it's the Showboat, shut down by bankrupt parent company Caesars Entertainment as the second of four casinos to close during Atlantic City's epic collapse.
June 5, 2016 |
Atlantic City's shuttered Showboat casino-hotel will reopen next month as a hotel only, Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein announced Friday. With 852 rooms, it will be the largest non-casino hotel in New Jersey, Blatstein's Tower Investments said in a news release. "There's a lot more coming," Blatstein said Friday. "This is the start of a much greater plan. " Showboat, along with the Atlantic City Hilton, Revel, and Trump Plaza, closed in 2014 amid fierce gambling competition on the East Coast, which squeezed Atlantic City's only real industry.
May 11, 2016 |
ATLANTIC CITY - With a Trump casino carcass next door and a local union in a protracted war with billionaire Carl Icahn, Atlantic City provided Bernie Sanders with plenty of material Monday. "I don't have to tell you too much about Donald Trump," the Democratic presidential candidate told a crowd inside Boardwalk Hall, which is next to the closed and stripped-of-all-branding Trump Plaza casino hotel. "You know more about him than most Americans. " Sanders took sharp aim at both Trump and Icahn at the impassioned morning rally.
January 22, 2016
By Stephen Sweeney Five years ago, despite Atlantic City facing ever-increasing competition from casinos and racinos in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, and other states, we decided to bar casinos in North Jersey for at least five years to give Atlantic City a chance to reinvent itself as an overall resort destination, as Las Vegas did. By the summer of 2014, it was clear that was not happening. The Atlantic Club had already closed, with Revel, Showboat, and Trump Plaza soon to follow, putting 8,000 casino employees out of work, devastating the local economy, and driving up housing foreclosures to the highest rate in the nation.
August 17, 2015 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Out on the Boardwalk, across from the Donald Trump-branded-but-no-longer-owned Taj Mahal, regulars have a unique view on the 2016 Republican presidential race. "They're fake," Tony Johnson, on a familiar family jaunt from North Carolina, said as he sat face-to-face with a big TRUMP sign. He was talking about the candidates, not the faux-Taj spires. "I came here because I hate Chris Christie," said Cinnaminson teacher Jackie Wilson, explaining her choice of the Taj, in effect voting with room nights.