Hard Rock to Buy Trump Taj, Plans Casino Opening in 2018

A complete renovation and rebrand of the property is planned.

The Trump Taj Mahal entrance

Photo | Dan McQuade

There will be a new casino on the Atlantic City boardwalk next year.

Yesterday the Hard Rock struck a deal with Carl Icahn to buy the shuttered Trump Taj Mahal. The planned $300 million purchase and casino renovation will bring a new casino to Atlantic City in 2018.

“All the pieces are coming back together, one by one,” Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian said. “Now is the time to invest in our great city. The price is right.”

The Trump Taj Mahal opened with an appearance by Michael Jackson in April 1990. Trump called it “the eighth wonder of the world,” a moniker previously applied to Andre the Giant.

But it went through a prepackaged bankruptcy just a year later. Trump Entertainment Resorts, the casino’s parent company, went bankrupt in 2014. Carl Icahn eventually acquired the property, but closed it in October as the casino’s union was on strike.

Now he’s selling to Hard Rock, the theme restaurant that has since expanded into casinos and is now owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

“We are excited to be part of this revitalization of Atlantic City creating thousands of jobs to help local employment,” Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International, said in a press release. “We are 100 percent convinced Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will be a success.”

Per a release, Hard Rock plans a complete remodel and rebrand of the property. Hard Rock will be the majority owners of the casino, with New Jersey developers Joseph Jingoli and John Morris as minority owners. They say the new casino will create 3,000 permanent jobs.