Atlantic City just got a little bit less Trumpy. On Wednesday morning, the old Trump Plaza building in the heart of the Jersey Shore destination—once the jewel of Trump’s casino empire—got blown to bits.
Trump’s casino opened in 1984 but closed in 2014, and has since fallen into such a terrible state that chunks had been breaking off it onto the ground below. Its implosion has been seen as one final good riddance from the city to Trump. “This is the fitting end of Trump’s era,” Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. said ahead of the demolition, adding that Trump “stiffed a lot of people and was selfish” during his time in charge.
By the time it closed seven years ago, Trump Plaza was the worst-performing casino in the city, and its eventual bankruptcy left behind a string of redundancies and unpaid bills to residents and local businesses. It’s now made space for a prime development opportunity in a run-down part of town—though it’s not known what exactly will be built in its place.
The implosion began just behind schedule at 9:07 a.m. ET. As the 32-story building folded in on itself, people could be heard whooping, laughing, and letting off air horns to celebrate the end of Trump’s links to the city.
The spectacle was hotly anticipated.
Caesars Atlantic City had offered a “Stay and View” special for visitors who wanted to watch the demolition in luxury—complete with Champagne, late check-out, and a front-row seat. The chance to hit the button to start the implosion was up for auction, although that idea was abandoned over health and safety concerns.
“It’s an end of a not-so-great era,” Jennifer Owen, a former Atlantic City resident, told The New York Times. She bid $575 to secure a front-row seat at a V.I.P. breakfast in with a perfect view of Wednesday morning’s implosion. “It’s symbolic for sure... Him. Everything ending.”
NJ.com reported that hundreds of people turned up to watch the event, including residents Erica Brotschol and Jorge Navarro, who decided it was the perfect way to mark Navarro’s 40th birthday. “Why not watch a building explode on your birthday?” asked Navarro, making a solid point. Another resident, Bob Cook, shared his excitement, saying, “This is going to be in the top five things I’ve done since the start of COVID.”
While some people just wanted to watch a building go boom, others spoke of their relief that the last tangible link with Trump had gone. Gina Wasik told NJ.com, “Anything that’s got his name on it has to go.”
Even though it bore his name, the building was no longer owned by Trump. Another billionaire, Carl Icahn, acquired the casino in 2016 after it became bankrupt for good. Over 1,000 people were served with unemployment notices when the casino closed—but Trump still managed to walk away with millions.
As he campaigned for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, Trump bragged about how much he made from the city where he left behind a trail of redundant workers. “The money I took out of there was incredible,” he told one interviewer.
It’s no wonder they’re happy to see his building go.