Will Trump Swoop In And Save Atlantic City?
Following tweets made last night, it seems Donald Trump would be happy to heed the call of Atlantic City locals and return to the city he left behind nearly 2 decades ago to rescue the city’s failing casino industry.
On the day the Trump Plaza was set to close, Atlantic City locals took to Twitter last night to plead for the return of Donald Trump – a name that was once synonymous with the casino and luxury hotel industry in Atlantic City in the late 90’s – after he lamented the closing of the casino that once bore his name.
However, in the same night of the closure of the Plaza, Trump once again took to Twitter, this time to announce his possible re-emergence in the city in the tweet below:
Trump, after pulling out of Atlantic City in the early parts of the new millennium, has blamed bad management by the hedge funds and corporate bondholders that purchased the casinos and allowed them to deteriorate. He is even in the process of suing the owners to remove his name from the casino as “they no longer meet the luxury standards of the Trump brand”.
It would seem Trump’s anger with the Hedge fund, Avenue Capital of New York, is rightly placed as it has long been the practice of hedge fund companies to begin cost cutting procedures in the face of dwindling profits. Many a bad story has been told of the hotels and the decline in standards. One group even went as far as to bring their own showerheads with them during a convention as the ones supplied by the casino didn’t work.
The hedge funds weren’t alone in the lambasting as Trump also made a note of the many poor decisions poliiticans have made over the years. One in particular, the opening of the $268 million Atlantic City Convention Center, a project that Trump vehemently opposed. At the time, he had urged political leaders in the state to revamp the old Boardwalk Hall which was, he believed, a better location than the Convention Center which is located five blocks away from the famous boardwalk. Trump believes the city made a massive mistake and as such, has not been able to lure major conventions to town as the Convention Center is in an undesirable location.
Trump even went as far as to cite his leaving as one of the main reasons Atlantic City has fallen on hard times. One of the tweets posted on his feed read:
Perhaps his grand re-entrance is just the thing Atlantic City needs to rejuvenate the once famous town. But, there are those that remain skeptical with one, State Senator Jim Whelan, saying: “Donald is a guy who likes to see his name in the paper. He’s never been shy about seeking publicity or obtaining publicity. The question is whether this is more publicity for Donals or whether he is serious about coming back to Atlantic City in a real way. We’ll see down the line.”
Whelan, who is a former Atlantic City mayor, even laid out a challenge to Trump and told him to “put his money where his mouth is” and show his commitment to Atlantic City by investing in the city. “Is Donald Trump looking to get some publicity, or is he serious? And if he’s serious, come on in and write some checks” Whelan said.
Even if Trump does decide to come to Atlantic City’s rescue and revive the casinos that still bear his name, many believe it won’t be enough, that the Trump brand alone would not be enough to breathe life back into the casinos and that some heavy investment would be needed to restore the casinos and bring the New Jersey city back from the brink.
However, there are those, mostly Atlantic City locals and visitors, who are more than happy to place their faith in the property mogul and took to Twitter, following his statements, to show support for the businessman.
Whatever the outcome of the whole affair, all will agree that drastic measures are needed to help Atlantic City and with Governor Christies decriminalizing sports betting, allowing online casinos to operate in the state and even allowing for the return of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, it seems that he at least is trying to save the city.
But, legalizing online casinos and online poker rooms would not, in itself, be enough to salvage the city as there are numerous casinos standing in the way of the city as casinos are being opened in the North East Region and further South such as Baltimore, both of which are directly in the path of Atlantic City and more than capable of luring players away from the once bustling boardwalk.
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