Trump Taj Mahal Bought by Hard Rock InternationalApril 4, 2017 12:22 pm
The Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City has been bought by Hard Rock International, with the café chain owner expected to reopen the venue sometime next spring. While the purchase was for an undisclosed sum, CEO James Allen did state that a total of around $300 million would eventually be spent on the property’s acquisition and renovation, with more concrete plans on the property’s future expected to be announced this week.
The Trump Taj Mahal, which cost $1 billion to build, opened its doors in 1990, and Trump continues to hold a 10% stake in the property as a result of his name use. Billionaire Carl Icahn then saved the casino from bankruptcy by acquiring it in 2014, but by October 2016 he shut it down following a protracted pension and health insurance dispute with union workers.
Icahn’s loss is the Hard Rock chain’s gain, though, as the firm has been looking to open a venue in Atlantic City for some time. Interestingly, Hard Rock had previously looked at purchasing the beleaguered Revel casino before the present deal went through, and as CEO Allen explains:
“We looked at Revel. We are excited for the Taj Mahal. The Taj is one of the great assets in gaming on the East Coast.”
Hard Rock has also expressed its wish to build a casino at the Meadowlands Racetrack in North Jersey, but that goal was shot down after residents voted against a state gaming expansion in November 2016.
Hard Rock International has expanded its operation recently, and last autumn won a contract to build the Republic of Cyprus’ first legalized casino resort, in partnership with Melco International Development. The development is expected to attract an additional 300,000 tourists each year, and help transform the island into the gaming capital of the Eastern Mediterranean. Hard Rock is also planning on applying for a Japanese casino license when the government starts taking bids for the construction of two integrated resorts, with other bidders to include Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts International, and Genting Group.