Atlantic City Continues to Bleed as Trump Taj Mahal Shuts Down for Good
Atlantic City’s, seemingly, never-ending bloodbath took another victim this week as the Trump Taj Mahal shut it doors for good. The casino is the fourth in AC to close to since 2014 and is leaving more than 3,000 workers without jobs.
Though the once glitzy jewel of the Atlantic City Boardwalk carries the name of the GOP Presidential candidate and former reality TV star, the property is actually owned by Carl Icahn. Icahn picked up the Taj Mahal in February in a bankruptcy sale and has struggled to keep it open ever since.
According Icahn, the biggest problem with the Taj Mahal was the property’s unionized work force, which has been on strike since July 1. Many Atlantic City watchers believe that Icahn closed the casino in hopes of busting the union and reopening under the protection of bankruptcy. (Icahn also claims to have lost more than $100 million keeping the casino open since February.)
Not surprisingly, Atlantic City union representatives say that their demands are hardly extravagant. In an interview with USA Today, a local 54 spokesman said that Taj Mahal workers have only received $.80 an hour worth of raises over the past 12 years. During that time, he added, the cost of living in Atlantic City has risen more than 25 percent. Many of them earn less than $12 an hour.
During its heyday in the early 1990′s, the Trump Taj Mahal was one of the city’s most glamorous properties, though it ran into financial problems (due to Trump’s mismanagement and inability to reign in costs) almost immediately. Since the strike began, guests have complained that the property have been complaining that the property hasn’t been maintained.
Guests with reservations after October 11, and that’s a very small group, will be reimbursed for their deposits.