New York, Feb 17 (efe-epa).- Atlantic City’s Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, which welcomed the rich and famous for years, on Wednesday was demolished in a controlled explosion that was followed by applause from the crowd who had gathered nearby to watch it come crashing down.
The building took just 20 seconds to be reduced to rubble from the towering structure built by real estate magnate and ex-President Donald Trump as the jewel in the crown of his hotel empire and through which for decades musicians, actors and many other high society personalities passed.
“Everyone from Hulk Hogan to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it was the whole gamut of personalities” who passed through the hotel, the casino’s events director from its opening in 1984 through 1991, Bernie Dillon, told local media.
Atlantic City Fire Chief Scott Evans said that the explosive charges were placed in strategic spots in the structure to ensure that at 9 am it collapsed vertically – albeit angling slightly to the northeast – and without danger to anyone or to other buildings However, the glittering hotel and casino where Madonna, Sean Penn, Barbra Steisand, Don Johnson and Muhammad Ali, among many others, overnighted, hobnobbed and partied has not belonged to Trump since 2016, when it was acquired by billionaire Carl Icahn along with another of the ex-president’s casinos that is still operating in Atlantic City, a big tourist spot.
With the success of Trump Plaza, which was closed in 2014, Trump began construction in 1990 on the Trump Taj Mahal focusing on that project rather than on his original debt-ridden casino, according to Bob McDevitt, the president of the main casino workers’ union.
But huge and mounting debts and poor management of both casinos, along with the oversaturation of gambling establishments in Atlantic City, forced Trump to sell them both.
When it was closed, the Trump Plaza was Atlantic City’s worst-performing casino, reportedly bringing in the same amount of cash from gamblers over almost nine months as the market-leading Borgata did every two weeks.
The Taj Majal, which was also acquired by Icahn, is continuing its operations under a new brand name: The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.