Atlantic City has been taking it on the chin lately. A lot. In the span of about a decade this NJ resort town has gone from being the East Coast's Gambling Mecca into a nosedive of plunging revenue and casino closures. What went wrong? Competition emerged, and lots of it. Every neighboring state now boasts casinos of their own. The town that once inspired the game of Monopoly once had a monopoly in the casino industry. But now that they're no longer the only game they're once again seeking to reinvent themselves.
In 2014 four of Atlantic City's casinos closed their doors: The Atlantic Club, Showboat, Trump Plaza, and the Revel. The Revel, believe it or not, was only open for two years from 2012 to 2014. The huge building never turned a profit. Trump Taj Mahal almost became a fifth casualty that year. It endured lengthy bankruptcy and legal proceedings and eventually ended up in control of Carl Icahn. Icahn warned that a closing was imminent without significant givebacks by the casino's unionized workers. Then he said the Taj would stay open...at least for now. Two years of lost benefits, uncertainty, and unrest defined the operating atmosphere at the Taj. The workers finally hit the picket line this July. Icahn retaliated by saying this removed any possible path to profitability and announced the casino would cease operations this fall with October 10 given as the closing date
Even if you're not a casino fan, this building was the epitome of 1980s casino style. Slathered in fake gold and dozens of huge crystal chandeliers throughout. It was Atlantic City's largest and most remunerative casino until the Borgata opened in 2003.
Here's a video of Taj Mahal from it's grand opening in 1990. The event was headlined by none other than the King of Pop Michael Jackson.
And now here's a report on the Taj's current troubles:
A temple to Atlantic City's halcyon days as a gambling capital closes for good in just a few days.