What next for Atlantic City’s closed casino properties?

Between 2014 and 2016, five land-based casinos in Atlantic City closed. Since that time, two have reopened and there are plans for another to relaunch soon.

Two of the closed properties, Hard Rock Hotel Casino and Ocean Casino Resort, were revamped and relaunched under different ownership. Both opened on June 27, 2018. The Showboat Casino is going ahead with plans to reopen as well, which would bring the total number of Atlantic City casinos to 10.

Two of the casino properties that closed in 2014-2016 are still shuttered: the Atlantic Club and the Trump Plaza. Both venues have been vacant for five years. Here is some information on those properties and what the future holds for them in Atlantic City.

Atlantic Club Hotel Casino

The Atlantic Club is near the southern tip of the AC Boardwalk and it closed for business in 2014. There were many owners and name changes over the 15 years of its existence, but it never scaled the peaks reached when Steve Wynn ran it as the Golden Nugget in the 1980s.

In mid-January of 2014, the Atlantic Club closed shop due to bankruptcy and the property was sold to Caesars and Tropicana. Later in 2014, TJM Properties purchased the former casino property. The development firm’s main goal was to find another buyer for the property. There were no buyers until 2019, when Colosseo Atlantic City Inc. bought the property for an undisclosed price.

There is a deed restriction in place that keeps Colosseo from opening a new casino on the site. However, the company has come out and stated it wants to reopen the property as a hotel, without a casino, after renovations. That statement was released four months back and since that time nothing has happened. There is no projected opening date or info about the hotel such as the design, the hotel amenities, or even how many rooms will be available.

Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino

The Trump Plaza closed its doors in mid-September 2014 and has been a hot topic in Atlantic City ever since. It is located right in the middle of town and is one of the first properties people see when driving there on the Atlantic City Expressway.

In 2015 Carl Icahn had control of the property but did not do anything with it. There were deed issues that kept anything from happening and they were not taken care of until January 2019, meaning the property lay dormant and unsellable for years. Icahn said a few years ago that he would tear down the Trump Plaza, but he is yet to even apply for a demolition permit. He was also unsuccessful in trying to get money back from investment alternative tax funds to deal with the costs.

The Mayor of Atlantic City, Marty Small, Sr., has stated one of his main aims in office is to “tear Trump Plaza down”. He referred to the property as “an embarrassment” and a “blight on our skyline, and the biggest eyesore in town”.

As of February 2020, neither Icahn nor Small has done anything about Trump Plaza.

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