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Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino

Coordinates: 39°21′19″N 74°26′15″W / 39.35528°N 74.43750°W / 39.35528; -74.43750
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Trump Plaza
Trump Plaza in September 2007
Location Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
Address 2500 Boardwalk
Opening dateMay 14, 1984
Closing dateSeptember 16, 2014; 9 years ago (September 16, 2014)
No. of rooms906
Total gaming space91,181 sq ft (8,471.0 m2)[1]
Permanent showsBeatle Mania, Boxing
Signature attractionsTrump Plaza Beach Bar
Notable restaurantsMax's Steakhouse, 24 Central Cafe, Rainforest Cafe
Casino typeLand-based
OwnerTrump Entertainment Resorts
Operating license holderTrump Plaza Associates
ArchitectAlan Lapidus, Martin Stern Jr, SOSH Architects (Casino and Hotel Renovations)
Previous namesHarrah's at Trump Plaza (1984)
Renovated in1990 (East Tower), 2006
Coordinates39°21′19″N 74°26′15″W / 39.35528°N 74.43750°W / 39.35528; -74.43750

Trump Plaza was a hotel and casino on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, owned by Trump Entertainment Resorts. Designed by architect Alan Lapidus, it operated from May 14, 1984, until September 16, 2014.


Early years[edit]

The Trump Organization, a company owned by real estate developer Donald Trump, began construction of the casino in June 1982.[2] Harrah's, the gaming unit of Holiday Inn, joined as a partner a month later.[3] Trump would oversee the construction, while Harrah's would operate the property, referred to as Harrah's Boardwalk, after opening.[2]

The property opened as Harrah's at Trump Plaza on May 14, 1984.[4] The complex contained 614 rooms, seven restaurants, a health club, a 750-seat showroom and a 60,000 sq ft (5,574.2 m2) casino, all on a narrow 2.6 acres (1.1 ha) plot of land next to Caesars Atlantic City. Five months after opening, the name was changed to simply Trump Plaza, to avoid confusion with Harrah's Marina.[5] Part of the reason for this is that Harrah's was commonly associated with and attracted low-rolling gamblers, but Trump had built 85 high-roller suites, which were rarely used.[6] The casino performed poorly, with pre-tax profits of just $144,000 in the first half of 1985.[7] The poor results exacerbated disagreements between Trump and Harrah's,[7] leading to Trump buying out Harrah's interest in the property for $70 million in May 1986.[8]

In 1989, Trump paid $62 million to purchase the neighboring, unfinished Penthouse Boardwalk Hotel and Casino, including a hotel tower that had formerly been a Holiday Inn, and a nearby parking lot.[9] Trump expanded the Plaza onto the Penthouse site, renaming it Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino East Tower.[9] Trump also spent $63 million to purchase the bankrupt Atlantis Casino Hotel, separated from Trump Plaza by the Atlantic City Convention Hall, and rebranded it as the Trump Regency, a hotel annex to the Plaza.[10][11]

Trump Plaza hosted the WrestleMania IV and WrestleMania V events in 1988 and 1989 respectively. Although the World Wrestling Federation billed the events as being held at Trump Plaza, in reality Trump was only the sponsor of both events, which were held at the Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall. From 1985 to 1998, the hotel was also the onsite host of 19 professional boxing program events.[12]

The casino was the scene of a notorious baccarat session in May 1990, in which the Japanese high roller Akio Kashiwagi lost $10 million.[13] The incident was later fictionalized in Martin Scorsese's film Casino.


Trump Plaza's revenues took a sharp decline in 1990, due to competition from its newly opened sister property, the Trump Taj Mahal, which was a mile away.[14] The casino narrowly averted default on a 1991 payment to bondholders by taking out a $25 million mortgage on its parking garage.[14] Trump then negotiated a debt restructuring with the Plaza's creditors, under which their $250 million of debt would be exchanged for $200 million of bonds with a lower interest rate, plus $100 million of preferred stock.[15] The plan was submitted as a prepackaged bankruptcy in March 1992.[16]

Construction of a $42-million expansion began in 1993.[17] The plan called for demolition of the unfinished Penthouse casino, the addition of 30,000 square feet of gaming space, and renovation of the former Holiday Inn building to become Trump Plaza's East Tower, with 361 hotel rooms.[17] The expansion was at the center of a major eminent domain court case, when Trump sought to obtain the property of Vera Coking, a retired homeowner whose house was adjacent to the Penthouse casino.[18] Coking, represented by the Institute for Justice, was victorious,[19] and plans to build a limousine parking lot were thwarted.

In 1995, Trump granted ownership of Trump Plaza to his new publicly traded company, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts (later Trump Entertainment Resorts).[20][21] The company also acquired the Trump Regency hotel.[22]

The East Tower opened in two phases, in October 1995 and February 1996.[23][24] The expansion continued with the May 1996 opening of Trump World's Fair, a $48-million renovation of the Trump Regency with an added casino, connected to Trump Plaza by a loggia across the Atlantic City Convention Hall.[25]

On May 24, 2011, Trump Entertainment Resorts announced that a decision would be made within two months to either sell the casino or to renovate and expand it, possibly with a joint venture partner.[26] In February 2013, the company proposed to sell the property for $20 million to the Meruelo Group, a California-based company whose businesses include the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno. Meruelo planned to make significant investments in the property and rename it.[27] The deal fell through when Carl Icahn, senior lender for Trump Plaza's mortgage, declined to approve the sale for the proposed price.[28][29]


The former Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino after closure

On July 12, 2014, it was reported that the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino would close on September 16, 2014, if a buyer was not found, putting an estimated 1,000 employees out of work. In early August 2014, Donald Trump filed a lawsuit requesting his name be removed from the facility, because it had fallen into disrepair, in violation of the licensing agreement for his name.[30]

Trump Plaza closed permanently on September 16, 2014.[31] This was the fourth Atlantic City casino to close in 2014, after the Atlantic Club, Showboat, and Revel. The closure left approximately 1,300 employees out of work.[32][33]


The building was set to be demolished in the spring of 2018, except for the East Tower and the parking garage.[34] However, on May 29, 2018, the demolition plans had been delayed until at least the following fall due to funding disputes.[35] On December 14, 2018, another demolition deadline passed.[36] Carl Icahn bought the deed to the land Trump Plaza sits on, and terminated the complicated lease on the land that drove potential buyers out in late December 2018.[37]

On June 11, 2020, Mayor Marty Small Sr. announced that Icahn has submitted plans for the hotel towers to be imploded, as they were considered a danger to public safety because of falling debris.[38] Most of Trump Plaza in Atlantic City was slated to be demolished on January 29, 2021.[39] Atlantic City planned to auction off the right to press the button detonating the explosives, with the proceeds to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City.[40] The auction was cancelled after lawyers for IEP AC Plaza LLC, a subsidiary company of Icahn Enterprises which owns the building, said they were unaware of the fundraiser and demanded it be stopped.[41] The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino was imploded on February 17, 2021.[39][42][43] It became the second hotel-casino in Atlantic City to be demolished by an implosion after the Sands Hotel and Casino in 2007.


Trump Plaza had 906 hotel rooms, and offered five room styles for guests to choose from. There were also several amenities provided to hotel guests, such as a pool and a fitness center.[44][45]

Rooms and suites[edit]

  • Deluxe room: A regular hotel room. Accustomed by two queen-size beds, or one king-size bed.
  • Ocean View suite: The same luxuries as the Deluxe hotel room but with a view of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Executive suite: A suite with two bedrooms and a living area as well as the kitchen.
  • Contemporary suite: A suite with three bedrooms and a living area as well as the kitchen.
  • Penthouse suite: A five bedroom suite with a marble/gold chandelier. Two living rooms, a kitchen, pool-area on the deck, and a statue of Donald John Trump in the foyer.


  • Indoor pool
  • Spa
  • Salon
  • Fitness center


Trump Plaza contained 91,181 sq ft (8,471.0 m2) of gaming space and featured standard casino games such as slot machines, video poker, blackjack, poker, craps, roulette, baccarat, and others.[46]


Trump Plaza had several restaurants.[47]

Fine dining[edit]

  • Max's Steakhouse
  • Roberto's Ristorante

Casual dining[edit]

  • 24 Central Cafe
  • China Cafe
  • Evo
  • Liquid Bar
  • Rainforest Cafe
  • Sarah's Cookies
  • Buffet (Various Names)
  • Room Service

Quick service[edit]

Bars and nightclubs[edit]

Trump Plaza contained one nightclub, Liquid Bar and Jezebel's, as well as a seasonal bar on the beach named The Beach Bar at Trump Plaza.


There were a few shopping options for those wishing to shop at Trump Plaza.[48]


  • Landau Jewelers
  • Front Page Gift Shop
  • Floral services


Boxing and mixed martial arts matches were commonly held at the casino.[49] Most notably being the well-televised match between professional boxers Mike Tyson and José Ribalta on August 17, 1986.[50]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino Review by Casino City". Trumpplaza.casinocity.com. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Fen Montaigne (November 19, 1982). "10th casino heralded at shore". The Philadelphia Inquirer – via NewsBank.
  3. ^ "National news briefs". UPI NewsTrack. July 16, 1982 – via NewsBank.
  4. ^ Donald Janson (May 15, 1984). "10th and largest casino opens in Atlantic City". The New York Times. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  5. ^ Donald Janson (August 13, 1985). "Trump and Harrah's feud over name". The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  6. ^ "Gaming in Atlantic City.............. A History of Legalized Gambling in New Jersey" (PDF). Ccgtcc.com. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Steve Swartz (November 11, 1985). "Holiday, Trump drafting terms to end rocky alliance over Atlantic City casino". The Wall Street Journal. ProQuest 397993833.  – via ProQuest (subscription required)
  8. ^ "Trump is said to hold a stake in Holiday Corp". The Wall Street Journal. September 4, 1986. ProQuest 397966711.  – via ProQuest (subscription required)
  9. ^ a b Daniel Heneghan (March 20, 1989). "Trump buys neighboring Penthouse Casino site". The Press of Atlantic City – via NewsBank.
  10. ^ "Trump deal for Atlantis is completed". The Philadelphia Inquirer. AP. June 30, 1989 – via NewsBank.
  11. ^ "Regency to stay open without ties to the Plaza". The Press of Atlantic City. July 29, 1992 – via NewsBank.
  12. ^ "BoxRec: Venue".
  13. ^ The impact of a finite bankroll on an even-money game
  14. ^ a b David Johnston (April 6, 1991). "Deal protects Trump Plaza from bankruptcy". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  15. ^ "3d Trump casino has bailout plan". The Philadelphia Inquirer. January 23, 1992. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  16. ^ Terry Mutchler (March 10, 1992). "Two Trump casinos file for Chapter 11". The Philadelphia Inquirer. AP. ProQuest 286594703.  – via ProQuest (subscription required)
  17. ^ a b Douglas A. Campbell (June 23, 1993). "Small wrinkle in Trump's A.C. project". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  18. ^ "In Atlantic City, the widow vs. the real-estate mogul" Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. The Philadelphia Inquirer (February 14, 1997). Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  19. ^ Law Offices of Glenn A. Zeitz Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Floyd Norris (June 7, 1995). "Trump Plaza casino stock trades today on Big Board". The New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  21. ^ Form 10-K: Annual Report (Report). Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. March 27, 1996. pp. 12–13 – via EDGAR.
  22. ^ Form 10-K: Annual Report (Report). Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. March 27, 1996. pp. 98–99 – via EDGAR.
  23. ^ "Trump Plaza beats the clock". The Star-Ledger. Newark, NJ. October 31, 1995 – via NewsBank.
  24. ^ Donald Wittkowski (February 17, 1996). "Trump Plaza cuts ribbon on new expansion". The Press of Atlantic City – via NewsBank.
  25. ^ Joe Weinert (May 16, 1996). "World's Fair debuts". The Press of Atlantic City – via NewsBank.
  26. ^ "Trump Plaza may be sold or may be expanded, company CEO says - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Breaking News". The Press of Atlantic City. May 24, 2011. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  27. ^ "'You're acquired': Atlantic City's Trump Plaza fetches $20 million in bargain-basement deal". NJ.com. AP. February 14, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  28. ^ "California company's deal for Trump Plaza put on hold". Las Vegas Review-Journal. April 19, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  29. ^ Wittkowski, Donald. "Carl Icahn won't approve sale of Trump Plaza for $20M" Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, The Press of Atlantic City. Accessed August 2, 2013.
  30. ^ Parry, Wayne (August 6, 2014). "Trump: Plaza and Taj Mahal casinos too shabby to bear his name anymore". philly.com. Associated Press. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  31. ^ "Trump Plaza" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 31, 2014.
  32. ^ "Trump Plaza owners confirm plan to close in September". The Press of Atlantic City. July 12, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  33. ^ "Thousands out of work in Atlantic City as big casinos shut doors". Atlantic City News.Net. September 1, 2014. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  34. ^ Huba, Nicholas (November 2, 2017). "Trump Plaza set to be razed in the coming months". The Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  35. ^ "Demolition of Trump Plaza casino on hold". The Press of Atlantic City. May 29, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  36. ^ Danzis, David (December 14, 2018). "No word on future of Trump Plaza as another demolition deadline passes". The Press of Atlantic City.
  37. ^ Danzis, David (January 6, 2019). "Icahn purchases deed, terminates lease on Trump Plaza". The Press of Atlantic City.
  38. ^ Jackson, Vincent (June 11, 2020). "Icahn submits plan to tear down Trump Plaza". The Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  39. ^ a b Jones, Dustin (February 17, 2021). "In Seconds, Atlantic City's Trump Plaza Hotel And Casino Is Reduced To Rubble". NPR. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  40. ^ Parry, Wayne (December 16, 2020). "City to auction spot to push demolish button on Trump casino". Associated Press. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  41. ^ Kausch, Katie (January 18, 2021). "Fundraiser to push button at Trump Plaza demo canceled after owner objects". NJ Advanced Media; NJ.com. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  42. ^ Davis, Tina; Alexander, Sophie; Palmeri, Christopher (February 17, 2021). "Trump Casino Implodes (Literally) — Marking the End of an Era in Atlantic City". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  43. ^ Spocchia, Gino (February 17, 2021). "Former Trump casino demolished with a controlled implosion". The Independent. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  44. ^ "Rooms & Suites". trumpplaza.com (archived). Archived from the original on August 13, 2014.
  45. ^ "Spa / Salon". trumpplaza.com (archived). Archived from the original on August 23, 2014.
  46. ^ "Casino". trumpplaza.com (archived). Archived from the original on August 17, 2014.
  47. ^ "Dining". trumpplaza.com (archived). Archived from the original on August 15, 2014.
  48. ^ "Shopping & Recreation". trumpplaza.com (archived). Archived from the original on August 13, 2014.
  49. ^ "Boxing is making a comeback in Atlantic City". The Press of Atlantic City. August 3, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  50. ^ "35 Years Ago: Mike Tyson's Toughest Win – Jose Ribalta Dares To Go To War With "Kid Dynamite" - Boxing News". www.boxing247.com. August 17, 2021. Retrieved December 1, 2023.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Host of WrestleMania
1988 & 1989
Succeeded by