An auction to push the button to implode the former Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City was called off by the building’s owner, billionaire Carl Icahn, but the structure will still be taken down.
The implosion of the 34-story building on Mississippi Avenue is scheduled for Feb. 17. The hotel and casino, which was constructed and owned by Donald Trump before his presidency, has been vacant since September 2014.
It had a 30-year run on the city’s boardwalk, home to New Jersey’s casinos that also offer partnerships for some of the Top New Jersey online casinos .
Over the past four years, efforts have been underway to get rid of the facilities. Icahn took over ownership of the property in 2016 when he acquired Trump Entertainment Resorts in bankruptcy.
The building has become a public safety hazard over the past few years — debris has fallen from the property during high winds and storms — and an eyesore on the famed boardwalk.
Icahn had submitted demolition plans in June 2020.
An auction to press the implosion button had been organized by Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. Proceeds would have been donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City. At the time of the auction’s cancellation, the top bid was $175,000.
Edison, New Jersey-based Bodnar’s Auctions, the largest auction house in Central Jersey, announced in mid-January that Icahn Enterprises, which is paying to demolish the building, opposed the auction. Icahn has long been a supporter of Trump during his political campaign.
In lieu of the auction, Icahn said he will donate $175,000 to the club and One Atlantic, Hard Rock and Ocean casinos are also contributing to the cause by holding events surrounding the implosion date.
Shortly after announcing the auction, the attorneys for IEP AC Plaza LLC, a subsidiary controlled by Icahn Enterprises, sent a letter stating that IEP AC Plaza LLC was not on board with the situation because of safety issues and would not participate or help facilitate the event.
Bodnar’s said it will be holding an imploding viewing party and auction off two front row seats to view the implosion. The winner would be a VIP guest of Atlantic City and get one of the best views of the implosion at One Atlantic, in addition to other benefits. All proceeds will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City, where it will help to sustain programs that serve more than 2,500 youth in the city.
“We are working to get this building down as safe as possible,” Small said during a news conference in mid-January. “Our next conversation will be with Carl Icahn and his group to see what will replace it. We have one shot to get this right with the implosion, the cleanup and the rebuild. It’s his land, he can put whatever he wants but we want to have a positive, working relationship to what will be put there.”
The 141-acre Bader Field, the former Atlantic City Municipal Airport, will be made available as a public viewing area for the implosion.
“This was an imminent, public safety issue and that building is coming down. It doesn’t matter what name is on that building, it has to come down,” Small said. “We wanted down at the end of last year. It’s going to come down in a safe and secure matter and we are looking forward to the rebuild.”