Trump Plaza sold for cheap


Donald Trump once proudly owned an Atlantic City empire, but last Thursday he pretty much gave away his center piece, the Trump Plaza. The casino and resort was sold to The Meruelo Group of Downey, California for a measly $20 million dollars. Considering it cost $210 million to build the Trump Plaza when it opened in 1984, which is about $475 million in today’s dollars, you really get a sense of how this casino and resort is really no longer the centerpiece of Atlantic City.

You don’t need to look much further than the revenue figures of the Trump Plaza casino and resort to see the problems that they were having. According to the Wall Street Journal, revenue’s last year were down more than 40 percent to $4.9 million, which makes them the worst performing casino in the city. CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts, Robert Griffin, tried to put on a brave face and told The Associated Press “the deal shows the Atlantic City market is still attractive to investors, given the right price”. Not sure how selling an under performing casino at a mere fraction of what it cost to build suggests that it’s an attractive market. But no one would ever expect someone from the Trump organize to say that they’re running a poor business.

The folks over at The Meruelo Group got a good deal and if they’re able to revitalize the property, it looks to be a sold investment. They have already indicated that they will not keep the Trump name, but haven’t alluded to what it might be. Alex Meruelo, founder and CEO of the Meruelo Group goes on to say that “our company is thrilled to have the opportunity to become the new owners of this property, and we are firmly committed toward establishing it as one of the elite destinations in Atlantic City and on the East Coast.”

Atlantic City has been far from booming, but maybe The Meruelo Group can inject some new enthusiasm and excitement into the region. The location of the Trump Plaza is awesome, right on the Boardwalk and pretty much what you see when you arrive to Atlantic City, so the opportunity is there.

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