Trump Plaza Imploded in Atlantic City After Years of Neglect

  • Controlled Demolition Inc. used around 3,000 sticks of dynamite to blow up Trump Plaza
  • The implosion was live-streamed so viewers could watch the 34 stories fall
  • Casinos created auctions and special hotel deals to celebrate the implosion
  • There are currently no plans for the space once the cleanup is completed
Trump Plaza
Trump Plaza in Atlantic City was demolished on Wednesday, February 17 after sitting empty on the Boardwalk since September 2014. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Quick implosion

After looming tall in the Atlantic City skyline for decades, the Trump Plaza took only seconds to fall. Controlled Demolition Inc., imploded the building Wednesday morning after it stood dormant for six and a half years. The demolition crew gutted the building before the big event. Around 3,000 pieces of dynamite were placed inside the building to help bring its 34 stories to the ground.

Live footage of the event streamed on Twitter so viewers could tune in to the demo from home:

Trump Plaza opened in 1984 under the name Harrah’s Trump Plaza, owned by Donald Trump’s The Trump Organization. It was the tenth casino in Atlantic City and a spot for major events like boxing matches and high roller gambling. After several bankruptcy filings, Trump cut ties with the Plaza in 2009. The property closed in 2014. Investor Carl Icahn took ownership of the property in 2016 out of bankruptcy court.

Generating funds from the spectacle

Like many areas across the US, Atlantic City is struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Casinos are operating at a much lower capacity and tourism numbers are low. Everyone considered the implosion of Trump Plaza a major event and officials, along with casino operators, tried to generate business alongside the demolition.

Early on, local officials created an auction connected to the implosion, allowing bids on who could push the button to blow up the building. The auction raised $175,000 for the Atlantic City Boys and Girls Club before Icahn pulled the plug on the effort, citing safety issues.

The public showed displeasure with the decision to end the auction, frustrated over the lost funds for the local Boys and Girls Club. Icahn made up for it by donating the same amount to the organization.

Auctions and special deals connected to the implosion of the former casino continued throughout Atlantic City, including an auction that offered hotel packages with VIP viewing access of the building as it came down. This auction received around $6,000 in bids.

Even Caesars got in on the action, providing special $299 packages for hotel guests. The package included views of the implosion from hotel rooms along with late checkout and champagne.

Good riddance

Local leadership in Atlantic City is glad to see the Trump Plaza removed from the skyline. As the casino and hotel remained empty, it quickly became an eyesore and occupied prime real estate on the boardwalk.

Over the years, chunks of the façade began to fall off of the building and it was eventually deemed a hazard. Mayor Marty Small worked hard to see the demolition come to pass and he hopes that Icahn will develop the property into something that will complement the area.

we ultimately are looking forward to the cleanup and the rebuild”

“Everyone is looking forward to the implosion and we ultimately are looking forward to the cleanup and the rebuild,” said Small.

Icahn has yet to provide details on what he plans to do with the property after the cleanup. It has been estimated that the rubble pile from the building is around 70 to 80 feet high, so it will take some time to clear it away and prepare the spot for a development.