1000 Broadwalk Road in New Jersey’s Atlantic City is home to one of the biggest casinos in the block, the Trump Taj Mahal, which is second in magnitude only to The Borgata. This shore side social establishment is one of the two owned wholly by Trump Entertainment Resorts. It was inaugurated in the former half of 1990, and the one billion dollar structure housed 50 standard tables and over 20 tournament tables. Michael Jackson stole the show with fabulous grandeur in the open house ceremony, after which it was “open for business.”
The Success Run
However, despite the successful ceremony, a trip down memory lane shows a sore thorn stuck even prior its inauguration. This was due to its inevitable involvement alongside the Resorts Casino Hotel in the clash between Merv Griffin and Donald Trump over an ownership issue of Resorts International. Nonetheless, matters were settled and the Taj Mahal followed its opening success to become the highest grossing hub in the city, until The Borgata opened in 2003. The Chairman Tower was setup in late 2008, which brought the casino resort to a room count of 2010. The establishment saw some great runs, playing host to baccarat and poker tournaments. People who visited Atlantic City did not leave without stopping here to try their hand. In 2013, the nation’s first casino strip club was opened, and this stage brought in another influx of eager guests. But little did people realise that this was one of the last resort strategies in the management’s reservoir to keep things afloat and stay the rising debts.
The Questionable Future
All hell broke loose when the management of the Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino finally held out the white flag and filed for bankruptcy on September 10, 2014. Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc disclosed their final closing date as November 13, 2014; unless and otherwise union aid was granted and concessions were awarded. The plea was not well received; even after a horde of desperate workers marched to Mayor Don Guardian’s office. Over 1,000 employees joined in the cause by signing the petition for reconsideration regarding the granting concessions on November 3, 2014. The management gave out in a statement that this grant was imperative to keep the social establishment open.
The Final Call of Hope
According to The Post’s report on November 22, 2014, billionaire investor and ace poker player, Carl Icahn, put a pause on this row against the unionized workers. Although this investor once thought to let the Taj collapse, he stepped in to save his investment. He is the casino’s biggest debt holder and prospective buyer, and has offered to restore healthcare benefits, provided the union calls off its appeal against the court terminated labour contract. About 1,100 workers are said to be benefitted from this, in addition to the supposed pension benefits. Additionally, Icahn has extended his willingness to cancel the $286 million debt in exchange for the rights to the city’s second biggest joint. Further, he has accepted saving the sinking Taj Mahal by injecting it with $100 million to keep it above water. But all these promises rests on the verdict taken by the union.
If Icahn and the union fail to strike an agreeable deal on financial matters and other benefits, and if he decides not to extend the millions to keep the ship afloat with the deal, Trump Taj Mahal will close its doors on December 20, 2014, “potentially un-employing” over 3,000 staff and workers.
The Last Lights
On December 16, 2014, it seemed that luck didn’t favour the Taj, because Carl Icahn and the Union failed to reach a deal, thereby mounting the pressure for the casino to shut its doors according to plan. CEO Robert Griffin of Trump Entertainment Resorts wrote to investor Icahn to swoop in with his millions and save the Taj from hanging its third decade’s work. Now, all that remains is for us to wait and watch what the future holds in store for this iconic casino and hotel.