Trump Taj Mahal might have to close before re-emerging stronger, expert says

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 Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

One local expert says it might have to get worse before it gets better in Atlantic City. 

A proposal full of concessions won’t work to save the Trump Taj Mahal from closing in mid-November, said Izzy Posner of Richard Stockton College’s Institute of Gaming Hospitality and Tourism.

“There are many costs that Trump Entertainment is trying to drive out of the system, and I don’t see how it is likely for the unions to open up those contracts,” he said Tuesday. “The implications are too great I believe.”

The unions are already waging a radio ad campaign saying they will not give up their benefits. And Atlantic City officials are saying the tax breaks requested by current owners to keep the facility open are out of the question.

If the hotel and casino close, Posner said, there is a good chance it can regain profitability under a new owner.

“The Taj has become an iconic property on the boardwalk, it’s a part of town that has been hit pretty hard recently, but I do think under the right conditions it can emerge under a second chapter,” he said. “There can be a Taj Mahal 2.0.”

If it closes, as current owners threaten, when it might reopen — and who would own it — are up in the air.

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