In keeping with the legacy borne from the name, controversy over the demolition of the Trump Plaza Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City has crept up. The property has been shut down since 2014 and is now owned by Carl Icahn, the multibillionaire entrepreneur and Trump associate. Plans to bring down the building gained momentum following an Atlantic City order to raze the property last March, and a plan was hatched. An auction would be held that would benefit the non-profit Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City, allowing the highest bidder to push the button when it came time to level Trump Plaza. However, with the auction set to end today, in-fighting has caused issues that have forced the auction to be canceled.
Bodnar’s Auctions of New Jersey was brought in by Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small to oversee the auction, working out a deal that would have all the proceeds go to the Boys & Girls Club. The event began in the middle of last month and should have been able to run its natural course, which would have allowed it to end today. However, Icahn, or at least someone involved in his operations, reportedly caused a scene and forced the auction to be canceled.
A statement provided by Bodnar’s gave the reason for the cancellation, explaining, “Shortly after announcing the auction, the attorneys for IEP AC Plaza LLC, a subsidiary controlled by Icahn Enterprises, sent a letter stating that IEP AC Plaza LLC was not on board with the situation and would in no way participate or help facilitate, citing safety issues. After exhausting every avenue to bring the parties together to make this exciting event happen, we received the final decision from IEP AC Plaza LLC that we must cease and desist.”
It’s unclear what type of “safety issues” might arise from pushing a button, but perhaps that will be revealed in time. As it stands now, the auction had attracted substantial attention, with the highest bid coming in at $175,000. This wasn’t quite the $1 million that had hoped to be raised, but it’s still a lot of money that would have gone to a worthy cause. Now, the Boys & Girls Club will need to figure out how to make up the difference after a bitter 2020.
Bodnar’s added, “2020 hit the Boys and Girls Club hard, as most nonprofits will agree, and they are in desperate need of donations to keep their club open. The high bid was at $175,000, and that money would have greatly benefited the Boys & Girls Club at a time when it is needed most.”
Trump Plaza was expected to be blasted into oblivion on January 29, not too longer after Trump’s tenure in the White House comes to an end. As a goodwill gesture, and with a net worth of over $15 billion, perhaps Icahn can reward the Boys & Girls Club out of his own pocket.