If the Trump Taj Mahal closes its doors next week, it will be the fifth casualty on the troubled Atlantic City boardwalk this year. With a judge set to decide Thursday whether hedge fund manager Carl Icahn can save the complex from bankruptcy, here’s a look at the stakes — and what it’s like on the casino floor.
Mark Makela / Reuters
When the staff of Atlantic City's Trump Taj Mahal look back on the sprawling casino's final days, they'll remember a soggy lunch break. The Taj's employee cafeteria now has a steadily leaking ceiling that splatters them with raindrops as they eat slices of Sbarro pizza between dealing hands of blackjack.
A recent windstorm claimed a piece of the casino's upper-level roof, and its owner, Trump Entertainment (that's Trump as in Donald Trump, although he stopped being a majority owner a decade ago), hasn't put up the money to fix it.
And why would they, if the Taj really will close its doors for good on Dec. 12 at 5:59 a.m., as the sign near the entry of the self-parking garage proclaims? The dealers can live without a dry lunch break for the handful of days before their casino descends into bankruptcy. Let them eat in the rain.
That is, of course, if these really are the last days of the Trump Taj Mahal, which they very well could be. But nothing has been decided officially. Even though the hotel tower closed earlier this week and state regulators released a tentative plan to shut the entire property down for good, much still hinges on a bankruptcy court hearing on Thursday. Not to mention a hedge fund billionaire who may still be allowed to step in and save this institution at 1000 Boardwalk, a prime location on this once glittering gambling town's beachfront strip.
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