Jose Garces is Opening Three Restaurants at the Tropicana in Atlantic City

tropicana-bw

Atlantic City is apparently collecting Iron Chefs. With Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck and Geoffrey Zakarian already there and Michael Symon opening Angeline at the Borgata sometime in the next few months, the city is well on its way to a full house (see what I did there?).

But now, with opening dates set for the three completely new operations from the Garces Group that we told you about last year, they’re flush with ’em. And Jose Garces is even going to sneak in ahead of Symon because he’s got opening dates set for all three locations (all of which are going into re-done spaces at the Tropicana) in the first week of March.

So, yeah. Really soon. Here’s what we know.

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President Trump’s Name Removed From Taj Mahal Casino

Donald Trump ascends the stairs with his fist raised after the opening of the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. on April 5, 1990.

Donald Trump ascends the stairs with his fist raised after the opening of the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. on April 5, 1990.

President Donald Trump’s presence in Atlantic City legacy grows ever fainter with the removal of the Trump name from all sides of the Taj Mahal casino. But this isn’t a Trump boycott — in fact, it was Trump Entertainment’s choice.

On Wednesday morning, the Press of Atlantic City reported that the “Trump” has been removed from the boardwalk entrance to the casino resort, but his name is still featured at the front entrance of the casino and on the hotel tower. But, according to the Inquirer, those will be gone soon, too. Workers at the casino on Wednesday determined they’d get rid of 17 by next week, including the ones at the very top of the tower. Read more »

Icahn Says He’ll Sell Trump Taj Mahal

Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City

Photo | Dan McQuade

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn wants to wash his hands of the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City.

On Monday, he announced plans to sell the shuttered casino resort. In a statement on his website, the special adviser to President Trump — the casino’s former owner — says he won’t invest the $100 to $200 million the casino needs to reboot.

Why this decision? Icahn is pointing the finger at a New Jersey bill and its sponsor — state Senate president Steve Sweeney. The bill, which has now been vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie, would have penalized Icahn by divesting him of his casino license for five years. Read more »

Revel’s Got a New Reopening Date

Revel casino

Photo | Dan McQuade

Last fall we learned that Revel’s got a new nameTEN—and now it’s got an updated reopening date—February 20th. That’s President’s Day and just three weeks from now.

The ill-fated casino was initially scheduled to reopen last summer, but it’s remained shuttered for longer than expected. Some squabbling between owner Glenn Straub, who bought the once $2.4 billion Revel out of bankruptcy for just $82 million in 2015, and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority may be the cause.

The delay is also due in part to licensing complications. Straub’s had to attend hearings as recent as Tuesday to determine whether he needs a casino license despite leasing gaming operations at the site to a third party. The control board ruled that Straub is required to be licensed to reopen Revel as a casino. Even so, Straub says he will reopen on the target date and fight the board’s ruling in court.

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Meet the Temple Guy Giving Donald Trump–Themed Tours in Atlantic City

Levi Fox leads a Donald Trump-themed tour in Atlantic City.

Levi Fox leads a Donald Trump-themed tour in Atlantic City.

Levi Fox knows a thing or two about the Jersey Shore. A lifelong Somers Point resident, the 36-year-old Temple PhD student and lecturer has worked as a tour guide at both Lucy the Elephant (“My best summer job ever!”) and the James Candy Factory, as well as along the Atlantic City Boardwalk, where he used to give Nucky Johnson–themed tours back when Boardwalk Empire was all the rage. And now, Fox is taking tourists on a Donald Trump–focused tour. Read more »

The Revel Casino Finally Has a New Name

Revel Casino Hotel, now called TEN

Revel on its last day of operations in 2014. | Photo: Dan McQuade

The summer season has come and gone in Atlantic City, and despite an initial mid-June opening date, the former Revel casino remains shuttered — and owner Glenn Straub, who bought it out of bankruptcy, earlier this month threatened to leave town after clashing with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

But there is a significant movement in the beautiful property that’s been closed for longer than it’s been open: a new name. Revel is now called TEN. Read more »

I Flew Over Atlantic City in a World War II-Era Plane

View of the New Jersey beach and Atlantic Ocean from a GEICO Skytypers plane

The view from my plane over the Atlantic Ocean | Photo: Dan McQuade

I can admit, I was terrified.

I knew I would be OK. My pilot was Bob Johansen, a Navy veteran who told me he’d been an aviation enthusiast his whole life and got his pilot’s license as a teenager. He flew for TWA, and began his career with the GEICO Skytypers in 1977. Brenda Little, who does marketing for the Skytypers, told me “Bob is the best pilot on the team.” He won FAA’s highest civilian honor, the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, given to those with a record of 50 years of safe flight.

The plane was about 70 years old. When Johansen helped me strap on my life vest and parachute, he told me I wouldn’t need it. “This thing is like a tank,” he said, tapping the plane’s body. “Any problems, I’d rather take my chances landing in it. Unless the wing falls off or it’s on fire, we won’t be jumping out of it.”

But when we took off in our SNJ-2, first developed in the 1930s and used to train Navy pilots during World War II, I was scared. It’s not that I thought we were going to crash. It’s that I didn’t know what to expect. Once we got over the ocean along Atlantic City, though, the feeling was breathtaking. I got it. The canopy was open. The wind finally gave me some relief from the heat. I looked up at the sky and exhaled. This was incredible. Read more »

Christie Says He’ll Vote to Expand Casinos to Northern New Jersey

Chris Christie

New Jersey governor Chris Christie said he plans to cast his ballot in favor of expanding casinos outside of Atlantic City and into parts of northern New Jersey.

The Associated Press reports that Christie made the comments at a statehouse news conference, where he said he would campaign for the ballot question. The idea of expanding casinos has drawn criticism from those who believe the move would further damage Atlantic City’s economy.

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