Bally’s Wild Wild West Casino. Harrah’s. Caesar’s. The Claridge. Playboy. The Golden Nugget. They were all household names (in our household, at any rate) back in the late Seventies and the Eighties. They were the names of some of the many casinos to which my mother drove on the Atlantic City run as a bus driver.
Our favorite stories were from her “Bunny Bus” run. The Playboy Casino paid the bus company to wrap one (at least one) of its buses in the Playboy Bunny logo. Sometimes the bus was used for long-distance charters when the slated bus broke down. On the way to Florida, Mom was stopped by local cops who were looking for the Playboy Bunnies. All they found were puzzled Chinese tourists.
Because he’s running for President of the United States, Donald Trump’s Atlantic City record is fair game for critics. Being fair means keeping matters – and history – in perspective. Straying off the straight-and-narrow when attacking an opponent is not only unfair to the opponent (No, no one said life or politics was fair) but such unprincipled charges rob critics of their credibility.
While no great fan of Trump’s (I’ve become less and less of a fan as time and his mouth have run on), I feel it is incumbent to examine all the facts behind the successes and failures in Atlantic City. Donald Trump was not the only financial gambler in Atlantic City. Steve Wynn and even Hugh Hefner threw the dice on Atlantic City, and lost. The only difference is, they weren’t running for President.
By the late 1960s, many of Atlantic City’s once great hotels were suffering from embarrassing vacancy rates. Most of them were either shut down, converted to cheap apartments, or converted to nursing home facilities by the end of the decade. Prior to and during the advent of legalized gaming, many of these hotels were demolished. The Breakers, the Chelsea, the Brighton, the Shelburne, the Mayflower, the Traymore, and the Marlborough-Blenheim were demolished in the 1970s and 1980s.
Of the many pre-casino resorts that bordered the boardwalk, only the Claridge, the Dennis, the Ritz-Carlton, and Haddon Hall survive to this day, as parts of Bally’s Atlantic City, a condo complex, and Resorts Atlantic City. The old Ambassador Hotel was purchased by Ramada in 1978 and was gutted to become the Tropicana Casino and Resort Atlantic City, only reusing the steelwork of the original building. Smaller hotels off the boardwalk, such as the Madison, also survived.
Over the years there have been numerous planned casinos in Atlantic City that never opened. In November 1976, New Jersey voters approved a referendum that legalized casino gambling in Atlantic City, and the Casino Control Act of New Jersey was signed by the governor on June 2, 1977. Atlantic City was the first place in the country to have legalized casino gambling outside Nevada.
A rush of investors announced plans to build hotel-casinos. A lack of available financing along with legal issues, such as zoning, licensing, and environmental regulations ended the plans of most of these investors. Among the hotel-casinos that never opened, most stopped in the planning stage, with only a few, such as the Dunes and the Penthouse, even starting construction. Many of the proposed projects were announced with major publicity efforts but died quietly.
Since The Donald is in question as a candidate for President of the United States, we’ll begin with his Atlantic City properties:
Trump Yacht Casino
In 1996, Donald Trump proposed building a 430-foot yacht, docking it next to the Trump’s Castle (later to be called Trump Marina) resort in the Marina District, and opening a casino on the boat. At the time, it would have been the largest yacht in the world, costing $75 million and having 35,000 square feet of casino space on three levels. The yacht was never built.
Trump World’s Fair Successor
The Trump World’s Fair (formerly the Trump Regency, which was formerly the Atlantis Hotel and Casino, which was formerly the Playboy Hotel and Casino) was torn down in 2000. Donald Trump then proposed building a 62-story hotel-casino on the site. However, after his company entered bankruptcy in 2005, the property was auctioned off to BET Investments, owned by real estate developer Bruce E. Toll. A deed restriction, preventing the property being used as a casino, was lifted in 2011 in exchange for $5.5 million, but no plans were announced for a hotel-casino.
Current Boardwalk Casinos (as of 2016)
Former Boardwalk Casinos
- Atlantic Club
- Showboat (Marina)
- Trump Plaza
- Trump World’s Fair (Yacht in Marina)
- Playboy Club
With the redevelopment of Las Vegas and the opening of two casinos in Connecticut (Foxboro and the Mohegan Sun) in the early 1990s, along with newly built casinos in the nearby Philadelphia metro area in the 2000s, Atlantic City’s tourism began to decline due to its failure to diversify away from gaming.
Determined to expand, in 1999 the Atlantic City Redevelopment Authority partnered with Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn to develop a new roadway to a barren section of the city near the Marina. Nicknamed “The Tunnel Project,” Wynn planned the proposed Mirage Atlantic City around the idea that he would connect the $330 million tunnel stretching 2.5 miles (4.0 km) from the Atlantic City Expressway to his new resort. The roadway was later officially named the Atlantic City-Brigantine Connector, and funnels incoming traffic off of the expressway into the city’s Marina District and Brigantine, N.J.
Although Wynn’s plans for development in the city were scrapped in 2002, the tunnel opened in 2001. The new roadway prompted Boyd Gaming in partnership with MGM/Mirage to build Atlantic City’s newest casino. The Borgata opened in July 2003, and its success brought an influx of developers to Atlantic City with plans for building grand Las Vegas-style mega casinos to revitalize the aging city.
Owing to the 2007 economic meltdown and increasing union demands, many of the proposed mega casinos never went further than the initial planning stages. One of these developers was Pinnacle Entertainment, which purchased the Sands Atlantic City, only to close it permanently Nov. 11, 2006. The following year, the resort was demolished in a dramatic, Las Vegas-style implosion, the first of its kind in Atlantic City. While Pinnacle Entertainment intended to replace it with a $1.5–2 billion casino resort, the company canceled its construction plans and plans to sell the land. The biggest disappointment was when MGM Resorts International announced that it would pull out of all development for Atlantic City, effectively ending their plans for the MGM Grand Atlantic City.
In 2006, Morgan Stanley purchased 20 acres (8.1 ha) directly north of the Showboat Atlantic City Hotel and Casino for a new $2 billion plus casino resort. Revel Entertainment Group was named as the project’s developer for the Revel Casino. Revel was hindered by many problems, with the biggest setback to the company being in April 2010 when Morgan Stanley, the owner of 90 percent of Revel Entertainment Group, decided to discontinue funding for continued construction and put its stake in Revel up for sale.
Early in 2010 the New Jersey state legislature passed a bill offering tax incentives to attract new investors and complete the job, but a poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind released in March 2010 showed that three of five voters (60 percent) opposed the legislation, and two of three of those who opposed it “strongly” opposed it. Ultimately, Gov. Chris Christie offered Revel $261 million in state tax credits to assist the casino once it opened.
As of March 2011[update], Revel had completed all of the exterior work and had continued work on the interior after finally receiving the funding necessary to complete construction. It had a soft opening in April 2012, and was fully open by May 2012. Ten months later, in February 2013, after serious losses and a write-down in the value of the resort from $2.4 billion to $450 million, Revel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It was restructured but still could not carry on and re-entered bankruptcy on June 19, 2014. The Revel was put up for sale, however as no suitable bids were received, the resort closed its doors on Sept. 2, 2014.
In the wake of the closures and declining revenue from casinos, Gov. Christie said in September 2014 that the state would consider a 2015 referendum to end the 40-year-old monopoly that Atlantic City holds on casino gambling and allow gambling in other municipalities. With casino revenue declining from $5.2 billion in 2006 to $2.9 billion in 2013, the state saw a drop in money from its 8 percent tax on those earnings, which is used to fund programs for senior citizens and the disabled.
Superstorm Sandy [as far as we were concerned, it was a hurricane] struck Atlantic City on Oct. 29, 2012, causing flooding and power-outages but left minimal damage to any of the tourist areas including the Boardwalk and casino resorts, despite widespread belief that the city’s boardwalk had been destroyed. The source of the misinformation was a widely-circulated photograph of a damaged section of the boardwalk that was slated for repairs, prior to the storm, and incorrect news reports at the time of the disaster. The storm produced an all-time record low barometric pressure reading of 943 mb (27.85”) for not only Atlantic City, but the state of New Jersey.
The website Politifact posted an article about Donald Trump’s four bankruptcies, trying to sort out the various claims about Trump and his finances:
Bankruptcy 1: The Trump Taj Mahal, 1991
The first bankruptcy associated with Trump was perhaps the most significant in terms of his personal finances, according to new reports at the time. He funded the construction of the $1 billion Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City with junk bonds, which opened in 1990. By 1991, the casino was nearly $3 billion in debt, while Trump had racked up nearly $900 million in personal liabilities, so the business decided to file for Chapter 11 reorganization, according to the New York Times. As a result, Trump gave up half his personal stake in the casino and sold his yacht and airline, according to the Washington Post.
Bankruptcy 2: Trump Plaza Hotel, 1992
Trump acquired the Plaza Hotel in New York for $390 million in 1988. By 1992, the hotel had accumulated $550 million in debt. As a result of the bankruptcy, in exchange for easier terms on which to pay off the debts, Trump relinquished a 49 percent stake in the Plaza to a total of six lenders, according to ABC News. Trump remained the hotel’s CEO, but it was merely a gesture — he didn’t earn a salary and had no say in the hotel’s day-to-day operations, according to the New York Times.
Bankruptcy 3: Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts, 2004
Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts filed for bankruptcy again in 2004 when his casinos — including the Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Marina and Trump Plaza casinos in Atlantic City and a riverboat casino in Indiana — had accrued an estimated $1.8 billion in debt, according to the Associated Press. Trump agreed to reduce his share in the company from 47 to 27 percent in a restructuring plan, but he was still the company’s largest single shareholder and remained in charge of its operations. Trump told the Associated Press at the time that the company represented less than 1 percent of his net worth.
Bankruptcy 4: Trump Entertainment Resorts, 2009
Trump Entertainment Resorts — formerly Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts — was hit hard by the 2008 economic recession and missed a $53.1 million bond interest payment in December 2008, according to ABC News. After debating with the company’s board of directors, Trump resigned as the company’s chairman and had his corporate stake in the company reduced to 10 percent. The company continued to use Trump’s name in licensing.
Following are the many stories of the numerous failed Atlantic City casino plans:
In 2006, AC Gateway LLC, headed by Wally Barr and Curtis Bashaw, purchased a number of properties near Albany Avenue and the Boardwalk in order to build a hotel-casino. These properties included the former Dunes Hotel and Casino Atlantic City and the Sahara Boardwalk Hotel and Casino projects, along with the former Atlantic City High School site. A plan for a mega-casino called the Atlantic Beach Resort & Casino was dropped due to the economic downturn, and a joint venture to develop a smaller Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City was proposed for the site in July 2011. However that project was also cancelled. In November 2015, it was announced that the property would be used for an office building and a campus of Stockton University, which produced a controversy of its own between the governor and the university.
American Land Company
In July 1978, American Land Company, headed by Steven Silverberg, announced plans to build a hotel-casino in the marina area, named The Marina Casino. However, later that year, he faced charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission for misleading investors in the project. He later sold an option on the land for the project to MGM Grand Hotels.
American Motor Inns and Great American Industries
In June 1979, a joint venture to construct a hotel-casino in the marina area was announced by American Motor Inns, Inc. and Great American Industries.
Atlantic Land Limited
Atlantic Land Limited opened an office near New York Avenue in 1979, proposing to build a 31-story hotel-casino. However, by the next year, the office was closed.
In May 1977, Edward Sims announced that his investor group would develop a hotel-casino, called the Atlantis, in the marina area. (This was no relation to the Atlantis Hotel and Casino, which was renamed from the Playboy Hotel and Casino in 1984.) In 1978, a portion of the land they owned was sold to Harrahs, contingent on getting it rezoned. However, the rezoning was refused and the sale was cancelled. In 1980 the investor group announced that the property was to be sold to American Motor Inns.
Benihana Hotel-Casino / Carnival (or Carousel) Club Hotel Casino
The Shelburne Hotel Atlantic City was leased to Japanese investors Rocky Aoki, owner of the Benihana restaurant chain, and Takashi Sasakawa, who planned to keep the existing hotel as well as add a 31-story tower and casino calling it the Benihana Hotel-Casino. In 1983 work crews began to renovate the hotel. However, disagreements between the Malmut family (owners of the hotel), the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, and outside investors led Akoi and Sasakawa to abandon the project after investing over $25 million in construction and renovations. Sasakawa was the son of noted Japanese fascist and philanthropist Ryoichi Sasakawa, who had links with the Yakuz (a transnational organized crime syndicate located in Japan). Aoki and Sasakawa had also faced charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission for insider trading in the stock of Hardwicke Companies, which had planned to manage the hotel/casino.
After the Benihana Hotel-Casino project stopped, the Shelburne Hotel Atlantic City was acquired in 1984 by Blumenfeld Development Corp. and the hotel was demolished. The company applied for a casino license on July 23, 1985. In 1986, a groundbreaking was held for the intended construction of the Carousel Club Hotel Casino. (It was originally called the Carnival Club Hotel Casino, but the name was changed after Carnival Cruise Lines sued them.) However, the company did not obtain sufficient financing and after foreclosure the property was sold to Bally’s Manufacturing Corp., which built Bally’s Wild Wild West Casino in 1997.
Caesars Palace Atlantic City
In June 1977, Caesars World, Inc. leased the site where the Traymore Hotel had once stood (the hotel was imploded in 1972.) They planned to build Caesars Palace Atlantic City on the site. However, when the opportunity came about in June 1978 to lease the Howard Johnson’s Regency Motor Hotel and use the existing facilities to more quickly build a hotel-casino complex, the Traymore site project was put on hold. The Boardwalk Regency opened in June 1979. The company applied for a license on Jan. 8, 1980 for the Caesars Palace Atlantic City project but never built anything on the site. The land was later sold to Pinnacle Atlantic City for a proposed hotel-casino. However, that project also fell through.
Captain Starn’s Restaurant
Captain Starn’s Restaurant was a popular restaurant located at Maine Avenue, Caspian Avenue and the Boardwalk, by the Absecon Inlet. The owners were approached twice by potential investors to buy the land for a hotel-casino, the first time by Meister Associates and the second time by Edward Wong. Caesars later took an option on the site and tried to swap it with the United States government for the site of the United States Coast Guard station in the marina area, but were turned down.
Casino by the Sea / Royale Vista
In June 1978, Levin Computer Corporation, along with Hotel Associates, announced plans to develop a hotel-casino in the marina area named Casino by the Sea. Levin Computer had briefly owned the Bonanza Casino in Las Vegas. Levin later offered a leasehold interest in the property to Cavanaugh Communities Corp.
In 1979, Cavanaugh Communities Corporation, a Florida land sales company, planned to develop a hotel-casino in the marina area called the Royale Vista. However, the land was sold to Resorts Casino Hotel in 1983, after a Cavanaugh subsidiary filed bankruptcy.
Chalfonte Hotel – Holiday Inns
Holiday Inns purchased the Chalfonte Hotel from Resorts Casino Hotel in 1979, intending to demolish the hotel and develop a new hotel-casino. However, in 1981, they announced that the development was postponed and eventually the project was cancelled.
Colonial Commercial Corp. / King International Corp.
Colonial Commercial Corp. was a company that made cement and blue jeans. In 1979, King International Corp., which operated a hotel-casino in Aruba, acquired an option to purchase some land from Trans-Expo Inc. Colonial Commercial then acquired the option from King International, with which it planned to merge, and later exercised the option. Colonial filed bankruptcy in 1982 and gave the land back to Trans-Expo, which held the mortgage.
Context Industries and Terminal Industries
In June 1979, Context Industries, Inc. announced that it had entered into a memorandum of understanding with Terminal Industries, Inc. to develop a hotel-casino.
First Artists Production Company
In October 1977, First Artists Production Company confirmed reports that they were negotiating for potential hotel-casino properties in Atlantic City. The company was partly owned by entertainers Paul Newman, Barbra Streisand, Steve McQueen, Sidney Poitier and Dustin Hoffmann. The property mentioned was the Holiday Inn, which was sold a few months later to Penthouse for its Penthouse Boardwalk Hotel and Casino project.
In 1977, William Kissane and John Leddy, announced that they were seeking to lease land in the marina area to develop a hotel-casino. In 1980, they had their land surveying licenses suspended.
After the original Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino opened in 1980, the company explored sites for another hotel-casino. In 1982, they looked at acquiring a site on Great Island from Vornado, Inc., but the site required rezoning. In the mid-1990s, the company proposed to build the Le Jardin Hotel-Casino in the marina area if the state of New Jersey built a road that connected to the hotel-casino. The company had also agreed to allow Circus Circus Enterprises and Boyd Gaming to build casinos on the site, but later reneged on the agreement. While the road, called the Atlantic City-Brigantine Connector, was eventually built, Le Jardin was cancelled after the company was acquired in 2000 by MGM Grand, Inc., which later built the Borgata, in a joint venture with Boyd Gaming, on the site.
Loews Corporation is a large conglomerate with interests in hotels, movie theaters, insurance, and cigarettes. In 1977, they conducted a feasibility study to determine whether they should re-enter the Atlantic City market and develop a hotel-casino. The company had formerly owned the Traymore and Ambassador Hotels, but sold them before gambling was legalized in the city.
Lucky Lady (or Lady Luck) Casino
Jean Savage, a Nutley N.J., realtor and the president of HEJJ Inc. approached the 72 owners of properties bordered between Texas Ave., Bellevue Ave., Pacific Ave. and the Boardwalk. She offered them $100,000 each to sell their properties, contingent on all of them agreeing to sell. She reportedly represented some unnamed company that planned to build a hotel-casino. The effort failed.
Metropole Associates, Inc., of New York, in November 1978 announced plans to build a hotel-casino at the site of the Morton Hotel on Virginia Avenue.
MGM Grand Atlantic City
MGM planned to enter the Atlantic City market in the late 1970s. However, a catastrophic fire, which killed 85 people, in 1980 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino (now Bally’s Las Vegas) in Las Vegas, Nev. postponed those plans. The fire resulted in substantial litigation. In 1996, the company began buying parcels of land adjacent to the Showboat Atlantic City for a planned hotel-casino. The effort was delayed for several years due to a few land owners refusing to sell. After MGM acquired Mirage Resorts in 2000, the company switched its focus to developing the Borgata in the marina area and abandoned plans for the Boardwalk site. The land was then sold to North Beach Holdings, which in turn sold the land to a group that built the Revel.
In 1978, Nortek, Inc, a textile and tombstone company, indicated it planned to invest in a casino. The following year, an investor lawsuit was filed against the company claiming it drove the stock price up by using false claims.
Pagano / Triple Five
In 2008, realtor Robert Pagano and a representative from shopping mall owner Triple Five Group sought to get land they owned in the marina district rezoned for hotel-casino and retail use. The land consisted of 17 acres adjacent to The Borgata owned by Pagano, and a 13-acre site across the street owned by Marina Towers Association.
Penn National Gaming
In 2008, Penn National Gaming had two proposals for new hotel-casinos. They offered to buy the recently closed Bader Field airport for $900 million. They planned to build one hotel-casino and sell up to three other parcels to other developers. Later that year, they planned to rezone a parcel of land on Route 30 at the city’s gateway for development of a hotel-casino. Neither venture went through.
In 1996, Planet Hollywood International Inc., a theme restaurant chain, and ITT Corporation, which had recently acquired Caesars, announced a joint venture to develop a hotel-casino. However, nothing became of it. After Planet Hollywood acquired the Aladdin Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., they announced plans in 2005 to open a hotel-casino in Atlantic City. However, the casino was never built, and after having financial problems, the company lost ownership of the hotel-casino in Las Vegas in 2010.
Prime Motor Inns
Prime Motor Inns had announced in January 1980 that it had approval from lenders for financing for a hotel-casino. However, the company was denied permits from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. They later tried to do a joint venture with the Dunes Hotel and Casino Atlantic City project, but that fell through.
In August 1977, Jerrold Polinsky, a cable television owner from Minnesota, announced an agreement to lease the Howard Johnson’s Regency Motor Hotel and build a casino. His partners included former New York Jets owner Sonny Werblin, attorney Adrian Foley and local art dealer Reese Palley. Werblin and Foley were the Chairman and Treasurer, respectively, of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. Palley had been appointed as Chairman of the New Jersey State Lottery Commission. Werblin and Foley soon dropped out of the partnership after the media and politicians noted the conflicts of interest. Polinsky sought additional investors, but could not meet the lease terms and the agreement was terminated in May 1978. Rocky Aoki had come in at the last minute to try to save the project, but the court rejected his claim. (Aoki would later try to develop the Benihana Hotel-Casino.) The property was subsequently leased to Caesars World in June 1978 and they developed the Boardwalk Regency. Polinsky went on to other ventures in the gambling industry, but was convicted in the mid-1990s of bribery, tax evasion, and securities fraud.
In 1978, an investor group purchased the Ritz-Carlton Atlantic City, intending to convert it to a hotel and casino. However, unfavorable publicity linking it to the *Abscam investigation ended that plan. U.S. Sen. Harrison A. Williams (D-N.J.) told an undercover FBI agent that he could help save the investors $30 million by allowing them to renovate the existing property, rather than building a new one. Williams’ wife was a paid consultant and shareholder in Hardwicke Companies, the majority investor in the project, and Williams expected to receive a $1 million finder’s fee for helping arrange financing for the project. Williams was later convicted on other charges relating to the Abscam scandal.
*The Abscam operation initially targeted trafficking in stolen property and corruption of prestigious businessmen, but was later converted to a public corruption investigation. The FBI, aided by the Justice Department and a convicted con-man, videotaped politicians accepting bribes from a fraudulent Arabian company in return for various political favors.
More than 30 political figures were investigated and among those a total of seven Congressman — six members of the United States House of Representatives and one United States senator — were convicted. Not only were there members of Congress, but also one member of the New Jersey State Senate, members of the Philadelphia City Council, the Mayor of Camden, N.J., and an inspector for the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.
“Abscam” was the FBI codename for the operation. When law enforcement authorities announced the operation, they said that “Abscam” was a contraction of “Arab scam.” After complaints from the American-Arab Relations Committee, officials said it was a contraction of “Abdul scam” after the name of its fictitious front company.
Route 1 Corporation / Hotel Associates
Al Olshan, a developer from Little Ferry, N.J., purchased some land in the Marina District through a partnership, Hotel Associates, intending to develop a hotel-casino. In 1982, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Olsham and his company, Route 1 Corp., with securities violations involving Hotel Associates.
Royale Atlantic Hotel / Atlantic Plaza Hotel Casino
Robert Maheu, a former aide to Howard Hughes, and Grady Sanders announced plans for a hotel-casino in August 1978, called the Royale Atlantic Hotel. However, they were unable to get funding for the project and turned it over to other developers.
Howard Weingrow, Robert Lifton and Midland Resources took over the Royale Atlantic hotel-casino project in 1979, and renamed it the Atlantic Plaza Hotel Casino. They applied for a casino license on Sept. 4, 1979. However, they were unable to get funding for the project, and Donald Trump took it over and developed the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.
Sardi’s Broadway Casino Hotel
In 1986, two theatrical producers, who had recently bought Sardi’s restaurant in New York, announced plans to develop a hotel-casino in the marina district called Sardi’s Broadway Casino Hotel. The project was a venture with the successor company that had tried to develop the Camelot Hotel and Casino. The producers lost ownership of Sardi’s restaurant in a 1990 bankruptcy case.
SS United States
In July 1977, a group headed by Harry Katz announced that they were trying to purchase the ocean liner S.S. United States and dock it at a pier in Atlantic City. The ship would have had a casino and the cabins would function as a hotel.
In August 1977, Alvin Snyder, a Maryland real estate developer, planned to use Atlantic City’s famed Steel Pier to house a hotel-casino called Casino at Sea. He bought the pier, contingent on getting the necessary government approvals for the construction and use. However, the approvals could not be obtained. In July 1978, the pier was purchased by the Resorts Casino Hotel for non-casino use.
Kupper Associates, a Piscataway, N.J., engineering firm, announced plans in February 1978 to build a hotel-casino at Arkansas Ave. near the terminus of the Atlantic City Expressway. The land was later sold to Colonial Commercial Corp., which defaulted on the mortgage and the land was reacquired by Tran-Expo.
Two New Jersey developers, John Griek and Martin Cummins announced plans in April 1977 to develop a hotel-casino on a tract of land on U.S. Route 30 and the Absecon bridge. They were seeking to have the land rezoned from industrial to commercial use.
Vornado, Inc., the owner of the [now-defunct] Two Guys discount store chain, announced in November 1978 that they planned to open two hotel-casinos on Great Island, about a mile west of the Boardwalk. In 1982, Golden Nugget announced plans to purchase the site if it could be rezoned for a hotel-casino. However, the site was in the flight path of Bader Field airport and required Federal Aviation Administration approval for a hotel.
Yeah, Trump had his name (and face) on a lot of Atlantic City properties. He’s still a rather crass, foul-mouthed (as we’ve discovered), womanizing, self-promoting financial gambler. It’s doubtful that he’d make a very dignified President of the United States. He lost my vote some time ago.
Many homes were bought up in Atlantic City when it was rezoned as a commercial district. Trump was not the only real estate developer to face a hold-out property owner, although he was the only one we know of to employ eminent-domain as a legal tactic. This tactic does, indeed, make him susceptible to being an untrustworthy guardian of the U.S. Constitution.
But, whatever his other business failures, and there are many, at least Trump’s picture isn’t hanging in the Atlantic City post office.