Trump may now be the President of the United States, but he made headlines today from something entirely different. The Trump Taj Mahal, a casino located in Atlantic City, was recently sold for a surprising value that is just 4 cents on the dollar of the original price.
Trump, though President now, became famous and rich thanks to some of his real estate dealings, of which the Taj Mahal was a major part. Built in 1990, the casino cost $1.2 billion. At the time it was opened, the Taj Mahal was the premier destination in Atlantic City, and it remained that way for a very long time. In 2009, however, Trump mostly cut ties with his business dealings in Atlantic City.
The Florida’s Seminole Indians purchased the Trump Taj Mahal back in March, and only this week the Securities and Exchange Commission announced the price. The property was bought for $50 million, which pales in comparison to the $1.2 billion it cost to build.
Though Donald Trump had been the man behind the business for some time, he ended most of his relationship with the casino, and most of Atlantic City, in 2009. At that point, Trump still owned some stake of the casino, however that was wiped out last year when Billionaire Carl Icahn took over the operation.
Icahn was quick to shut the casino down, however, as he realized that turning a profit was a fruitless endeavor. Add this to the fact that he was unable to reach an agreement with the biggest casino workers union in Atlantic City, and the Trump Taj Mahal has sat unused since last Fall.
The Seminole Indian Tribe plans to completely renovate the property and, with some luck, reopen it sometime in 2018. The Tribe has announced that they are going to remove most every mention of the Trump name and instead gear the casino towards more of a rock and roll theme. After all, this only follows seeing as Hard Rock is known for its rock-themed chain of restaurants. As you might have been able to notice, the casino industry in Atlantic City has not had the best last 10 years. Fortunately, we have seen things on the Jersey coast stabilize in the past few years, and it seems like an opportune purchase, especially for a price that is so much less than what the cost of the building might have led you to believe.
Now, the attention to this story turns to what the government of New Jersey is going to do with regard to future casino legislation. This past November, a referendum that would have allowed for casinos to exist in the state outside of Atlantic City was shot down by a fair margin. While this is so, there are many expectations that further legislations exactly like it will be introduced in the near future. If that is so, more than the Trump Taj Mahal will have things to think about. For the first time in a while, there is a lot of activity happening in and around Atlantic City, and this definitely will not hurt the industry there.