The long-shuttered Trump Plaza casino that looms over Atlantic City’s boardwalk will be imploded on Wednesday and most residents couldn’t be happier. Even though the property’s owner, investor Carl Icahn, nixed the city mayor’s plans to auction off the right to push the button triggering the controlled explosion, the building’s demolition – and complete erasure of Donald Trump’s presence in the seashore town – will be celebrated.
John Exadaktilos plans to host a Trump Plaza implosion party Wednesday morning at his nearby Ducktown Tavern and Liquors. He’s promoting the event as “the only spot in AC that you can see it come down as you throw them down.” He’s planning to open his outdoor space for viewers to watch and drink. “We’re going to make a little festival out of it to just watch a piece of Atlantic City go down. Hopefully something will come out of it that’s bigger and better,” he said.
Anthony and Carrie Ariemma, who own the Bare Exposure strip club just steps from the former casino at Mississippi and Pacific Avenues (plum- and green-colored, respectively, if you’re playing Monopoly) plan to livestream the event from their buildings’ rooftop cameras on their bar’s Facebook pages. “That building has been an eyesore for so long,” Carrie Ariemma told The Press of Atlantic City. “It’s also been denying the block of much needed sunlight and makes this part of the city look dark. That’s why we have our building lights on almost 24/7.
Most business owners in and around the border of the blast zone agree: they’ll be glad to see the building come down. In recent years it’s actually become a hazard as pieces of the facade have blown off in high winds before the building was wrapped in black netting.
A local attorney who’s active in Democratic politics, Stephen Dicht of the neighboring town of Margate, is unsparing in his thoughts about Wednesday’s demolition. “You know, to me, it’s just like ridding the city of the part of the Trump stench,” he said. “He did so much wrong in Atlantic City, and then he left that disgusting building there, which is the first people see coming in off the (Atlantic City) Expressway,” Dicht said. “I just wish he would go away like the building would go away.”
Felix Cruz, 55, was a room-service waiter at the property between 1984 and 2014. He appreciated the stable income it provided, but like many in Atlantic City he has an indelible Trump memory. Cruz said he knows that Trump would take Ivana to his Taj Mahal casino while at the same time having Marla Maples about seven blocks away at Trump Plaza.