$210m Casino Sold For $20m In Atlantic City

$210m Casino Sold For $20m In Atlantic CityBack in 1984, the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino opened on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City to great fanfare. The ambitious project cost the Trump Entertainment Resorts $210 million to complete, but just like Atlantic City itself, has seen its fortune wane over the ensuing years.
In a sign of the changing times, it has now been announced that the casino is to be sold for a mere $20 million to The Meruelo Group of Downey, California, with the deal expected to be completed by May 31st. The California based group specializes in construction and real estate development but also owns a range of other businesses, including a bank and a TV station, as well as the Grand Sierra Resort and casino in Reno, Nevada.
The sale leaves Trump Entertainment Resorts with just one property to run, namely the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, which it said it would also consider selling for the right price. Donald Trump founded the company in the 1980’s but in 2009 resigned as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Following announcement of the bargain basement deal, the 66 year old business tycoon commented:
“There was a period of time when Atlantic City was the hottest place in the world. I got out years ago, and my timing was very good. But the world turns. They’re getting a very good location.”
Since 2006, the east coast gambling resort of Atlantic City has been in steady decline with revenues now down from its peak of $5.2 billion to just $3.05 billion in 2012. In a similar casino purchase deal recently, the world’s biggest online poker room PokerStars bought The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel for $50 million, a fraction of its building costs in 1980 of $140 million, and way off the $440 it was sold for in 1987.

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