With a push of a button, Trump Plaza in Atlantic City was delivered its final blow Wednesday.
At about 9 a.m., the 34-story building on Mississippi Avenue was imploded by several explosions behind the backdrop of a bright, sunny Atlantic City skyline, celebrating a new era to the region.
The cleanup of the building is expected to last until mid-May.
Located next to the famed Boardwalk Hall, the hotel and casino, which was constructed and owned by Donald Trump before his presidency, has been vacant since September 2014. It was the 10th casino to open in A.C. in May 1984.
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.
Billionaire Carl 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 during high winds and storms — and an eyesore. Icahn submitted demolition plans in June 2020.
In January, Icahn called off an auction to press the implosion button, which 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.
Shortly after announcing the auction, attorneys for a subsidiary controlled by Icahn Enterprises sent a letter stating that it was not OK with the situation because of safety issues and would not participate or help facilitate the event.
In lieu of the auction, Icahn said he will donate $175,000 to the club and One Atlantic, Hard Rock and Ocean casinos also contributed to the cause by holding events surrounding today’s historic implosion.
Edison, New Jersey-based Bodnar’s Auctions, the largest auction house in central New Jersey, held an imploding viewing party and auctioned off two front row seats to view the implosion. The winner of the auction was a VIP guest of Atlantic City and received one of the best views of the implosion at One Atlantic. All proceeds were donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City.
Caesars, which was the closest property to the actual demolition site, offered a $299 stay-and-view room package.
“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.”
Bader Field, the former Atlantic City Municipal Airport, was also a viewing area for the public.