Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino has shut its doors, being the fourth Atlantic City casino to close this year. When it opened on May 14, 1984, Donald Trump called it the finest building in Atlantic City, and possibly the nation.
Gambling operations were stopped at 5:59 a.m., the official end of the gaming day by state regulation. Many restaurants on the first and third floors have been shut down for months. Along an escalator leading to them, fake plastic plants were either missing or stolen from row after row of trays. A self-serve kiosk to redeem player’s club points near the parking garage was disconnected and covered in dust.
All together, five of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos are expected to close this year. The onslaught of job losses, totaling at least 8,000, briefly turned one of the city’s celebrated convention centers into a makeshift unemployment office. With its biggest employers and taxpayers folding, and nearly a third of the city below the poverty line, the city’s credit rating has been downgraded to junk bond status.
According to Associated Press, Illuminated letters advertising the casino’s name on its front and back facades burned out and were never replaced. Visitors to the Miss America pageant last week at Boardwalk Hall next door saw a neon sign proclaiming “Trump Plaz Hotel & Cas.” On the Boardwalk side, the sign read, “U Laza.” Trump Entertainment is threatening to close its sole remaining casino, the Trump Taj Mahal, on Nov. 13 if it can’t wrest significant concessions from its unions, including having workers give up their health insurance and pensions.
Earlier, the property was known as Harrah’s at Trump Plaza, as a joint venture between Donald Trump and Harrah’s Atlantic City. Trump built the complex and it was managed by Harrah’s and contained 614 rooms, seven restaurants, a health club, a 750-seat showroom and a 60,000 sq.ft. casino all on a narrow 2.6-acre plot of land next to Caesars Atlantic City. Within five months, the Harrah’s name was removed from the casino and it became known only as Trump Plaza.