Trump Taj Mahal Will Close In December
The owners of the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City have filed papers stating that the struggling casino will close in December, making it the fifth Atlantic City casino to close this year as well as the second belonging to the company after the closure of the Trump Plaza earlier this year.
Trump Entertainment Resorts, the company that owns the Taj Mahal, has said in a Delaware bankruptcy court filling that the board has approved the total shutdown of the casino by the 12th of December. Up until now, it had only threatened to close if its biggest union did not cancel its appeal of a court-ordered cost saving package.
On Friday, the day Trump Entertainment filed the papers, the time was up for the union to drop the appeal and now the company has lumped the blame for the closure of the casino on the union as well as the state who refused to give the casino the state and local tax breaks Trump Entertainment needed to stay open.
“Due to the fact the the debtors had not obtained the tax relief and incentives they sought and did not expect that they would receive assistance prior to [a November 10 bankruptcy court hearing], the debtors advised the Division of Gaming Enforcement of their intentions to wind down operations of the Taj Mahal and to close the property on or about December 12, 2014” the company wrote in a statement to the press. “The debtors have initiated appropriate steps to cease operations at the Taj Mahal consistent with that time frame.”
Apart from the written statement, Trump Entertainment Resorts could not be reached for comment on Friday.
Apart from the 3000 Taj Mahal employees set to lose their jobs, another 8000 jobs have been lost due to the closure of the Showboat, the Revel, the Atlantic Club as well as the Trump Plaza, bringing the total to 11 000.
Mayor Don Guardian has said the knows this is one of the most difficult times citizens of Atlantic City have ever faced, especially for those who are now out of work.
“I want them to know that the city of Atlantic City did everything they could to help keep the Trump Taj Mahal open, Guardian said when talking to the press. “However, [the company and its officials] still must pay their fair share of taxes, just like our residents do.”
Trump Entertainment had been pursuing a radical plan to allow billionaire Carl Icahn, owner of the Tropicana and owner of the casinos debt, to exchange the $286 million for ownership of the casino. He also said that he would invest $175 million into the casino, but on the condition that the state authorized $175 million in tax breaks as well as the cancellation of union contracts that saw Taj employees lose healthcare and pension.
“We are all waiting for Mr. Icahn to step up and become part of the solution and stop pointing fingers, threatening and demanding,” said Bob McDevitt, President of Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union. “For once maybe he could do the right thing instead of trying to bully everyone.”
Icahn himself has been quoted as saying he has “walked into a hornets nest” and wishes that he had never answered the phone when the call came in.
Whatever happens now is unclear, however 3000 people will lose their jobs and Atlantic City will lose another casino. What is to happen with the city has yet to be decided despite many meetings of the State Government to find a plan for the ailing city.
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