Six weeks after former President Trump left office, a hotel and casino plaza bearing his name crumbled to the ground in Atlantic City, NJ.
The city imploded the building shortly after 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning after a dramatic drumroll, leaving nothing but rubble and dust.
Those who showed up to watch the visible ending of an era were corralled into a nearby parking lot, at a safe distance away, where spots cost $10 per car.
Ahead of the implosion, the building had been gutted and much of the concrete was already moved. About 3,000 pieces of dynamite were placed around the remaining structure to help bring down the 34-floor building.
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small began an auction for the chance to “demolish” the building and press the button to begin the implosion. But the auction was stopped, The New York Times reported in January, on the grounds of safety and liability.
Although the Trump Plaza Casino is now only rubble, it had been falling apart since it was abandoned in 2014. It was one of the city’s “most visible eyesores” and had been designated an “imminent hazard,” according to the New York Times. Chunks of the building had been known to fall off occasionally due to neglect,
The Trump Plaza was the first of three casinos the former president owned in Atlantic City. It opened in 1984 and became a magnet for the rich and famous, looking for coastal gambling, glitz and boxing matches. Eventually, all three Trump casinos in Atlantic City went bankrupt, leaving without paying many of the contractors and suppliers who helped build the brand on the boardwalk.
The mayor hopes that the site may be redeveloped as a family-friendly destination hub.
“We ultimately are looking forward to the cleanup and the rebuild,” Mayor Small told the New York Times. “We can’t depend on casino gaming anymore. We need to bring new industry here.”
Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.
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