Trump Taj Mahal renovation will cost $500 million
As you probably know (or not) Atlantic City’s former Trump Taj Mahal casino now belongs to Hard Rock International. The sale of the shuttered casino opened in 1990 by President Donald Trump was finalized last March. Back in the days Trump promised that it would be a real breakthrough in the casino world and that Atlantic City would surpass this casino as a casino city through this casino. As you may have noticed, it did not quite turn out like that.
The Florida-based Hard Rock, which manages gambling and resort operations for the Seminole Indian tribe, bought the casino March 1 from investor Carl Icahn. Icahn is a close friend and adviser to, now president, Trump. He acquired the Taj Mahal last year from bankruptcy court after Trump was no longer involved with it, aside from a 10 percent ownership stake in its parent company in return for the use of his name.
Icahn closed it in 2014 after a devastating strike by union workers seeking the restoration of health insurance and pension benefits that the casino’s owner before Icahn, Trump Entertainment Resorts, got a bankruptcy court judge to eliminate in 2014. Hard Rock CEO James Allen has said the purchase and extensive renovations would cost around $300 million. As it turns out now, the figure is a bit higher: $500 million.
Short History of the Trump Taj Mahal
After opening its doors in 1990, it was considered the biggest casino in the world. Not a year later, Trump already had to sell half of the casino to prevent him from declaring bankruptcy. Soon there was also the assertion of a large majority that it was a hotspot for Russian mafia and other criminals in the nineties. The casino was also said to be the shelter of a money laundering operation and other criminal activities.
Within the shortest time, there were also issues with the unions where employees felt cheated and were not covered by their employer. When the Trump Taj Mahal closed its doors for good, the hotel and casino had suffered losses year after year.
Of course, the huge renovation costs are also related to other aspects of the casino, as they ultimately want more competition for major casinos in Atlantic City, but also compete with the casinos in Las Vegas. Ultimately, HRI wants to ensure that their casino is not linked to the name of Trump and its shady reputation. The new owner has also spoken to Trump Taj Mahal’s unions and both parties confirmed that these talks were good. Who knows there is a future for this casino after all. No idea if this will be under Trump’s presidency, wanna bet?
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