Trump Taj Mahal Sold11 months ago
Barely a week after the iconic signs were removed from the‘Trump’ Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, billionaire owner Carl Icahn has sold the troubled building to a consortium including Hard Rock International.
Icahn claimed he had ‘lost some $300million’ due to the casino during his short ownership and was reported as stating he would be happy to settle for half that amount to get rid of it, although a sale price has not been announced.
The final straw in Icahn’s ownership was a well-publicized and bitter strike by workers late last year, when the messy Taj Mahal history finally caught up with it – Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union seeking to ‘reach a new contract with Icahn to restore benefits that Trump Entertainment got a bankruptcy court judge to terminate in October 2014.’
When it was opened in 1990, Trump declared it “the eighth wonder of the world” but barely a year later it was in bankruptcy, the ‘victim of unsustainably high levels of debt taken on during its construction’.
The new owners, Hard Rock International and two unnamed New Jersey investors, have yet to unveil plans for the casino – although it is expected that many of the workers made redundant during Icahn’s reign will be taken on under the new ownership.
Hard Rock International had previously seen plans to build a new major casino resort in northern New Jersey at the Meadowlands racetrack scuppered when voters overwhelmingly rejected a statewide referendum last November – a referendum which is required to succeed before casino gambling outside of Atlantic City limits can take place.
Icahn is also the owner of the Tropicana Casino and Resort, and stated:
"We... are extremely happy with our ownership of the Tropicana Casino and Resort, and after considerable analysis and deliberation we determined that we only wanted to own one operating casino property in Atlantic City.”
The billionaire investor added:
"A sale of the Taj Mahal therefore represents the optimal outcome for us. We wish Hard Rock and its partners the best of luck with the Taj Mahal.”
Icahn still has plans to sell the shuttered Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, which closed in 2014. None of the new owners of the Trump Taj Mahal have yet to comment on the sale.
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