And now the former Trump Plaza is set to come tumbling down

The former Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino on the Atlantic City, New Jersey, boardwalk will be imploded on February 17th. The fate of the property is symbolic of its namesake’s final few days in office. Once home to 86,000 square-feet of gaming space and 906 hotel rooms in a 39-story main tower it has been closed since in 2014. According to press reports the demolition of the former casino will cost a remarkable $14 million.

Trump opened the Trump Plaza in 1984 and for a while it was one of three casinos in Atlantic City bearing the Trump name. Others included the Trump Taj Mahal, which is now the Hard Rock Café and the Trump Marina, which is now the Golden Nugget. In its day the Trump Plaza played host to some of the biggest boxing matches including 1988’s Tyson vs Spinks fight where 21-year-old Mike Tyson retained his undisputed World Heavyweight title via a first-round knockout.

Donald Trump paid $11 million to sponsor the Mike Tyson-Michael Spinks fight and bring it to Atlantic City
Vegas casualty list

Of course we have become accustomed to Las Vegas hotels and casinos meeting a grisly but predetermined end. Here’s a list of Vegas venues with the date of their demise.

  • The Dunes – October, 1993
  • The Landmark – November, 1995
  • The Sands – November, 1996
  • The Hacienda – December, 1996
  • The Aladdin – April, 1998
  • El Rancho – October, 2000
  • Desert Inn – October, 2001
  • Castaways – January, 2006
  • Bourbon Street – February, 2006
  • Broadwalk – May, 2006
  • The Stardust – March, 2007
  • New Frontier – November, 2007

You can reminisce over all of these but the Sands Copa Room was the birthplace of the fabled ‘The Rat Pack’ – featuring Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop, Dean Martin and Peter Lawford – and the iconic movie Oceans 11, making it legendary.  But at 44 years of age the 715 room hotel was past its ‘sell by date’ and in 1996 it was flattened to make way for the Venetian resort, the $1.8 billion hotel-casino which was built by Sheldon Adelson.

Oceans 11, Con-Air and 1964’s Viva Las Vegas were all filmed at the Sands Hotel

Atlantic City has had its share of demolished casinos but the Sands Atlantic City was the first to be imploded, it was turned into rubble in October 2007. Some might argue that accolade should go to the Traymore Hotel which opened in 1906 and was imploded in 1972. For a time detonation of this 6.5 million cubic feet property gave it a place in the Guinness World Records as the largest ever controlled demolition. But its demise came four years before Atlantic City had legalised gambling and consequently it was never a casino.

On April 27, 1972 the first of three controlled implosions began the demolition process of the beautiful Traymore Hotel
A note from the editor: Remember to gamble responsibly, a responsible gambler is someone who
  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chase their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
  • Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org