You can bid farewell to Donald Trump’s one-term presidency by bidding on the rights to blow up one of his former buildings. Atlantic City is auctioning off the chance to press the button that will implode the shuttered Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, Mayor Marty Small announced on Thursday. Plans to demolish the building, which has sat empty since closing in 2014, have been in the works for years. Money raised in the auction will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City, the mayor said.
Originally set to be demolished on January 29, just over a week after Trump’s last day in the White House, Trump Plaza will now be imploded in early February. Offers will be solicited online through January 19 and then the highest bidder will participate in a live auction ten days later.
During a press conference on Thursday, Small said Trump’s history in the city, “where he said he took advantage of bankruptcy laws, took advantage of a lot of people, made a lot of money in Atlantic City, and then got out,” makes it important to do something worthwhile with the site.
He said that the same energy officials have put in working to demolish the building is needed to construct a “fine development” at the site. “It’s not often that inner-city oceanfront is available anywhere,” the mayor said. “We look forward to a new exciting development there.”
The fundraiser will help the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City, a nonprofit that has remained open throughout the pandemic and serves 1,300 Atlantic City youth. As of Friday, the highest bid stands at $172,500.
“Personally, I’m a pretty ambitious guy. I want to raise at least $1 million,” Small said.
The 39-story Trump Plaza opened near the boardwalk in 1984. By the time the casino closed in 2014, which cost thousands of workers jobs, Trump held just a 10 percent stake in the Trump Entertainment Resorts company, the casino’s parent company, as part of a bankruptcy deal made in 2009. According to AP News, he lost his stake after billionaire Carl Icahn took over the company in 2016.
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