It's the end of an era for one of Atlantic City's former boardwalk staples. On Wednesday, Feb. 17, the New Jersey resort town officially said goodbye to the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, which was originally opened in 1984 by former President Donald Trump. Onlookers recorded the destruction of the once-iconic building via 3,000 sticks of dynamite, and this video of the Trump Plaza demolition has people applauding the symbolic end of the former POTUS' once-thriving gambling empire in the city.
While Trump hasn't been chairman of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino since 2009, when he cut ties with it due to high debt and bankruptcy filings, it was the first of three casinos he opened in the city and a crucial early addition to his real estate portfolio, according to The New York Times. The building, which Trump once said would "determine the future of Atlantic City" and boasted clientele like Madonna and Muhammad Ali, officially closed its doors in September 2014.
Nearly seven years later on Feb. 17, 2021, people watched as the building was detonated by 3,000 sticks of dynamite at around 9 a.m. ET, according to The New York Times. While some onlookers reportedly paid as much as $575 to watch the implosion with an oceanfront view and breakfast package up-close, others lined up in cars for a view of the explosion from afar. As the Trump Plaza came down, viewers cheered.
In the video, you can see smoke billowing out of the side of the tower before all 34 stories of the building come crashing to the ground in an instant.
The Trump Plaza Hotel, which fell into disrepair and was called "the biggest eyesore in town" by Atlantic City Mayor Marty Smalls in January 2020, was acquired out of bankruptcy by billionaire investor Carl C. Icahn in 2016. Icahn, who still owns the plot the hotel was on, has not shared what his future plans are for the space.
Given the negative publicity surrounding Trump's presidency in the aftermath of the January 2021 Capitol riots by his supporters, the destruction of the building on Feb. 17 was celebrated by many on social media. In addition to some applauding the city for getting rid of a long-empty eyesore — like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did with a literal clapping emoji — others are calling it a metaphor for the end of an era for the former business mogul, television host, and president of the United States.
President Trump has yet to officially comment on the demolition, but judging from what he's said about the casino in the past (He told The New York Times in June 2016, "Atlantic City fueled a lot of growth for me. The money I took out of there was incredible.”), it wouldn't be surprising if he chooses not to acknowledge the destruction of the casino at all.