Trump Plaza entrance at night

Quite the show

In a moment that must feel chock full of symbolism, Controlled Demolition Inc. imploded the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City Wednesday morning as onlookers cheered the end of an era. The Plaza was the last of Donald Trump’s three casinos in the east coast gambling destination: the Trump Taj Mahal is now Hard Rock Atlantic City and Trump Marina is the Golden Nugget.

People began camping out in the area around 7:00am to watch the festivities. Dan Sanchez told The Press of Atlantic City, “We just wanted to see a building come down. Nothing else matters.”

“I read about it online and kept hearing about it on the radio. I thought it sounded cool, so I had to come see it,” said Delaware’s Jordan Rodriguez. “It’s funny because Trump is no longer president, and then a couple weeks later, his last building is going down. It’s ironic, really.”

Some parents even brought their kids. Six-year-old Ellie Woolsey, whose online classes didn’t begin until after the implosion, said she was excited, telling The Press, “Daddy said we might have to wear a mask when they explode it.”

Out with the old

Trump Plaza, originally called Harrah’s at Trump Plaza, opened in May 1984, the first of Trump’s three Atlantic City casinos. After years of mismanagement and bankruptcies by the Trump Organization and Trump Entertainment Resorts, the property closed in September 2014, the fourth Atlantic City casino to close that year.

It was originally supposed to be demolished in the spring of 2018, but funding issues created delays. Investor and friend of Trump Carl Icahn bought the property later that year.

Sitting dormant for six and a half years, the Trump Plaza was considered an eyesore in Atlantic City. Mayor Marty Small, Sr. particularly hated it, especially because it was a safety hazard. It was not uncommon to see pieces of the building falling to the ground below. The mayor was so excited to get rid of Trump Plaza that he woke up at 4:13 am Wednesday and couldn’t fall back asleep.

A few minutes after 9:00am, the building finally came down to sound of hundreds of cheering bystanders.

Sentimental day for some

While many are thrilled that the Trump Plaza is gone, both because the vacant carcass was a blight on the city and because of the political symbolism a month after Donald Trump left the White House, not everyone was happy. Accepting and understanding of the moment, but not in a celebratory mood.

Dani Summerson, worked at the Plaza for 17 years, even meeting her husband there. She told The Press, “It’s hard for us. It’s good memories for us. I know a lot of people are happy it’s coming down, but for us, it’s sad.”

Sarah Wilson’s father worked there for 20 years.

“(It was) kind of like watching my childhood explode a little bit,” she said. “When I was little, it was all sparkly and pretty and ostentatious. (It was) like magic, like a palace. I thought it was the coolest place.”

Now the daunting task of clearing the site begins. There are no plans for the land yet; that is up to Carl Icahn.

Lead photo credit: Photo credit: William Warby via Flickr

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