Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino has disappeared in a cloud of dust. The gutted casino came down in a planned implosion in Atlantic City, NJ, on Wednesday morning, with the New York Times quipping, "It was not the biggest or the best implosion ever." Still, there was "an eruption of cheers." Some 3,000 sticks of dynamite were used to bring down the 34-story eyesore on the boardwalk, Donald Trump's first of three Atlantic City casinos. All three went bankrupt. Trump Plaza, which opened in 1984, closed for good in 2014, five years after Trump stepped away. Investor Carl Icahn's Icahn Enterprises bought it in 2016. It also purchased the Trump Taj Mahal, now the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Trump Castle, which opened in 1985 and was later named the Trump Marina Hotel Casino, closed in 2011 and is now the Golden Nugget.
For many, the implosion by Maryland company Controlled Demolition Inc. "symbolized the end of Trump's time in this gambling resort town," the Cherry Hill Courier-Post reports. "It's an end of a not-so-great era," a woman who won a front-row seat to the action with a $575 auction bid to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City told the Times. "For some people, it's like good riddance," added a vacationer. "It's like wiping all the memories, erasing everything with his name." Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small said Trump's casinos had employed a lot of people, per the Courier-Post, "but he was selfish, took advantage of some people, hurt some people ... and stiffed some." Small added he was looking forward to meeting with Icahn Enterprises to discuss redevelopment plans as the struggling city of 38,000 moves away from gambling, an industry crippled by the coronavirus pandemic. (More Trump Plaza stories.)