Donald Trump is in the news again, because Donald Trump is good about exploiting slow news periods to get his name in the press. Wait until this time next year, when he’s going on TV to talk about how he’s exploring a presidential bid. With the election still a bit too far away to start a run for president — okay, maybe not — Trump has turned his gaze back toward the town he’s associated with in name only now: Atlantic City.
There’s actually a much more interesting story here than Trump talking about politics or ebola: The Donald is suing the company that runs the two casinos bearing his name, demanding his name be taken off the properties. Trump Entertainment Resorts is a descendant of the company he founded in the 1980s; he holds a 10 percent stake in the it. The piece of the company he owns allows the two casinos to use his name.
In 2009, Trump said he was “not thrilled about” his name being on the casinos.
“Since Mr. Trump left Atlantic City many years ago,” the lawsuit reads, “the license entities have allowed the casino properties to fall into an utter state of disrepair and have otherwise failed to operate and manage the casino properties in accordance with the high standards of quality and luxury required under the license agreement.” Trump Plaza says it will close on September 16th if it cannot find a buyer. It was almost sold last year for just $20 million.
In the early 1990s, Donald Trump controlled at least a third of the Atlantic City gambling market despite his company filing for bankruptcy after construction of the Trump Taj Mahal. But the company owning the casinos bearing Trump’s name filed for bankruptcy two times since. Trump’s stake was reduced to 25 percent in the 2004 bankruptcy, and to just 10 percent in the 2009 one. The company sold off the Trump Marina — formerly Trump’s Castle — in 2011; that property is now the Golden Nugget. Trump Entertainment Resorts now only owns Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal.
“I want it off both of them,” Trump told the Associated Press. “I’ve been away from Atlantic City for many years. People think we operate [the company], and we don’t. It’s not us. It’s not me.” Trump, if you’re wondering, sues a lot of people.