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.
June 29, 2015 |
There's music in the air on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, where Lenny Johnson and Vera Topinka are sharing an impromptu dance outside Bally's Wild West. "The world's a mess," Lenny, who's 82, explains. "But here in Atlantic City," adds Vera, 77, "it's a lovely day. " Vera, a retired keypunch operator from Toms River, is right: The summer is young, the sea breeze is bracing, and the sun plays across the fanciful facades of Boardwalk landmarks. Even the saw-toothed slab of the extinct Trump Plaza is aglow.
March 27, 2015 |
Trump Taj Mahal casino's parent company is seeking to block Stockton University's creation of an Atlantic City campus next door to the Taj Mahal because it doesn't want to contend with underage college students trying to gamble, the company said Wednesday. Stockton's president says he still hopes to see the Showboat Casino property turned into a branch campus for thousands of students. Trump Entertainment Resorts "does not think having a college next door to the Taj is good for our company," it said in a statement.
January 19, 2015 |
ATLANTIC CITY - The winter here is traditionally brutal for resort business, but a glut of vehicles to transport patrons that once filled the casinos has created a new class of beleaguered taxicab drivers. Nadir Khan, 57, is ready to throw in the towel after four years. "I can't make a living," Khan said as he sat in his taxi outside the Trump Taj Mahal last week. From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Khan had two fares totaling $29. The lease on his cab was recently dropped from $275 to $170 a week because business has been so off. Still, Khan - who has three children and a stay-at-home wife to support - can't cover the lower fee, much less his daily gas. "I bring my dreams to America, but now I don't know where to go," said the Pakistani native who arrived in Atlantic City in 1986 - eight years after the first casino, Resorts, opened on the Boardwalk.
December 16, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY - It wasn't long ago that the ovens at Formica Bros. Bakery were going full blast - putting out 50,000 pieces of bread a day. As recently as 2007, the nearly century-old establishment in the city's Ducktown section employed 70 people. Owner Frank Formica recalls how orders from casinos were like yeast to his dough, lifting his bakery's bottom line ever higher. Then, pummeled by out-of-state competitors, the casinos began to fall into a swoon, and this year, as four of them closed, Formica lost a big chunk of his business "in the blink of an eye. " He is down to 35,000 to 40,000 pieces a day, employs 40, and is sending his trucks ever farther to find new customers.