As if last week hadn’t already been bad enough for Atlantic City, Trump Entertainment Resorts confirmed over the weekend that it plans to close Trump Plaza — ranked last in revenue among A.C.’s surviving casinos — on September 16th.
The Press of Atlantic City put the casino industry’s fourth looming 2014 closure in context:
The casino, which opened in 1984 under the tutelage of its namesake, Donald Trump, joins Revel Casino-Hotel and Showboat Casino Hotel in announcing closings at the end of the summer tourist season. The latter two properties employ about 3,100 and 2,100 people, respectively. Atlantic Club’s closing, meanwhile, left about 1,600 without work.
“It’s a disaster,” said state Sen. Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, who first reported Trump Plaza’s rumored closing Friday. “This is going to impact all sectors of the economy, from big stores to real estate values and on and on.”
The Inquirer checked in with Trump workers, some of whom had attended a union rally to save the Showboat just days before:
"I'm very scared," said Aide Montero, 50, in her native Spanish. She immigrated to Atlantic City from the Dominican Republic nine years ago and makes $10 an hour plus tips, and cleans 16 rooms a day. "I wonder how we're going to make it."
Montero lives in Pleasantville with her fiance, Curvis Smith. Smith, 51, works in housekeeping for Bally's, delivering linen. Smith's sister's twin sons handle security for Revel, which has filed for bankruptcy a second time and could also close.
It will be out of necessity if she leaves Atlantic City, said Aracelly Mite, 52, who has dealt blackjack for half her life at Trump Plaza.
"I have my kids here, and my home is here," said Mite, of Pleasantville, as she stood behind an empty blackjack table just after 2 p.m. Saturday. As customers walked by, Mite smiled. "But to find a job, I might have to move," she added.
An official announcement by the casino's ownership and formal layoff notices are expected later today.