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Good riddance how atlantic city celebrated the trump plaza:


A few minutes after 9 a.m. on a bitterly cold Tuesday morning on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, a horn sounded, and a flock of seagulls sitting on the former Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino flew away in formation.

When 3,800 sticks of dynamite went off, each floor of the 34-story building shook and boomed. The building fell in 19.5 seconds. As a cloud of dust moved toward the Atlantic Ocean, the last building that former President Donald Trump had built in the seaside casino town of Atlantic City came down. This was the end of his complicated four-decade legacy in the city.

Gina Wislack, a retiree who has lived in Atlantic City for almost 30 years, was sitting at a table in One Atlantic, a place across the Boardwalk from Trump Plaza, watching the tower stand tall for the last few minutes before it fell down.

I wish he was there,” says Wallack, who bought the front-row seats at an auction for $500 to help the Boys and Girls Club in his city. “He did a lot of small businesses in Atlantic City a lot of harm. Fuck him. We’re all here because of that.”

The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino was the first of three casinos that Donald Trump owned in New Jersey. All of them eventually filed for bankruptcy protection more than once and went out of business. Trump’s reputation in Atlantic City has always been tied to self-dealing, money problems, and not paying small contractors.

The implosion could not have happened at a more symbolic time. As soon as the second impeachment trial was over, a lot of people went to Atlantic City to share their joy at Trump’s downfall and celebrate the end of his presidency. Nearby hotels like Caesars raised their prices during the week to take advantage of the increase in visitors to the gaming town, which was already struggling before the Covid-19 pandemic hit its hospitality business hard.

Minutes after the tower fell, Mayor Marty Small spoke to the press gathered around him. He had promised to bring down Trump Plaza in his first State of the City speech in January 2020.

“We always say that today is a great day in the great city of Atlantic City,” Small said. “I’m still getting shivers.”

Today was important to the city. In an interview last week, Small said, “Trump ripped off a lot of people, and he made fun of Atlantic City.”

Chris DiBella came from Long Island to watch the implosion. He said that the timing and the meaning of the event were two of the main reasons he was here. “It’s a good way to end Trump’s time in office,” says DiBella. “Good riddance, throw it away.”

In 1984, Donald Trump opened the Trump Plaza. At the time, the casino was run by both Trump and Harrah’s. Trump sold $675 million in bonds to pay for his vision of luxury in Atlantic City. This included the Taj Mahal, which opened in 1990, and the Trump Marina, which was first called Trump Castle and opened in 1985.

By 1990, the Trump Organization owed $3.4 billion, which put a lot of stress on the whole business. In his book about Trump, White House, Inc., Forbes senior editor Dan Alexander says that a New Jersey regulator said at the time that the would-be president’s business was in a dangerous situation. “It’s not out of the question that the Trump Organization could lose all of its money.”

In the same year, Trump’s father, Fred, sent a lawyer to the Taj casino in Atlantic City to buy $3.5 million worth of chips. This money didn’t go to the tables, though. Instead, it went to Donald Trump so that he could pay the interest on a loan.

In 1995, Trump Plaza went public on the New York Stock Exchange. By 2004, he had made more than $200 million through a series of deals and moves, while the company, which owned his Taj Mahal and Trump Marina, had lost $647 million and gone bankrupt. He left the company in 2009, and in 2016, Carl Icahn, who had bought bonds from the company, bought it out of bankruptcy. The Taj Mahal closed in 2016 and is now a Hard Rock Casino. The Trump Marina is now the Golden Nugget.

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small joked, “Mike Pence just called, and he’s not going to stop the implosion.”

As a reporter for the Press of Atlantic City, Dan Heneghan was there when every casino in Atlantic City opened. He says that Trump brought a lot of jobs and hope to the Boardwalk. Heneghan says, “He started out with a lot of goodwill.” “But in the end, he wasted it all.”

But the best times for Atlantic City were also during the Trump Era. The best place for Trump Plaza was at the end of the Atlantic City Expressway, right in the middle of the Boardwalk. This made it an instant center for entertainment and a place to go.

It was the site of Wrestlemania IV and V, both put on by billionaire Vince McMahon, as well as dozens of boxing matches, including Mike Tyson’s famous match against Michael Spinks in 1988, in which he knocked Spinks out in 1 minute and 9 seconds.


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