Trump Plaza Folds Tuesday, Fourth Atlantic City Casino To Close in 2014
The glitz-and-glamour casino opened in 1984 as Harrah's at Trump Plaza, but that name and partnership didn't last long. Harrah's went after the middle-brow player, while the Plaza focused more on attracting big money.
"Trump Plaza had a different vision - more of the upscale player, the kind of person who maybe wanted to spend a little bit more money," said James Karmel, author of "Gambling on the American Dream: Atlantic City and the Casino Era."
According to Karmel, Trump Plaza's most salient characteristic was its location. Situated at the center of the city's boardwalk, Trump Plaza would be the first casino visitors run into at the end of the Atlantic City Expressway.
A number of factors are said to have led to the demise of the city's tenth casino, including the popularity of other Atlantic City properties.
"The aura surrounding Borgata when it opened in 2004, I think, played a factor in moving people away from the boardwalk casinos, and reduced the advantage that Trump Plaza had with its position," Karmel said.
In the meantime, Karmel added, the Plaza was struggling to get its hands on any capital to make improvements and stand out once again. It had to wait in line with Trump Marina, which has since become the Golden Nugget, and Trump Taj Mahal, tentatively scheduled to close in November.
The glitzy quality that was once loved by gamblers became dated over time; Trump Plaza is still sporting the same chrome and sparkles, taking people to an era they're not interested in anymore.