The Trump Taj Mahal will be ceasing operations in just a couple of weeks and the ripple effect of its closure will be felt far beyond the boundaries of the Atlantic City staple.
The amount of people who are suddenly out of work is staggering. While there have been job fairs around the city, the Taj Mahal’s closing has flooded the market with even more people looking for work. With the employment market struggling on the supply side, it has forced job seekers to look elsewhere. Approximately 13,000 workers have left the area and the next ripple effect in the chain is the city, which is now going to miss out on a lot of taxpayer money.
Mayor Don Guardian is hopeful that this will turn around but most experts only view that as empty optimism at this point. It’s unclear how the city plans to reignite the gambling job market or replace the tens of thousands of working taxpayers they’ve already lost. When the downturn began in 2014, there was also cautious optimism but now it looks more and more like the bright days of Atlantic City are coming to an end. It all ties back to the customers and with the luster of Atlantic City fading, it means fewer visitors, fewer gamblers and fewer jobs necessary to service the customers.
The Trump Taj Mahal opened way back on April 2, 1990 and it was thought to be one of the next big things in the world of casino gambling. It cost nearly a billion dollars to build and was loaded with restaurants and non-gambling attractions that drew big crowds. It was even the first casino to have an in-house strip club, which was called Scores. However, 2014 was the beginning of the decline as Donald Trump’s parent company went through bankruptcy and he sold it to Icahn Enterprises, owned by billionaire Carl Icahn.
It wasn’t just the Trump Taj Mahal that suffered as at least four major casino/hotel buildings closed in 2014. Those closures put more than 8,000 people out of work.
The Trump Taj Mahal could have stayed open had it not been for an ongoing battle between management and the striking labor force. The crux of the battle between ownership and the workers’ union were health and pension benefits. The union didn’t want to be flexible, so as a result the company couldn’t make things work financially and decided to close their doors. Now all of those who were striking will be looking for new jobs when the Trump Taj Mahal closes on October 10.
This has obviously hurt surrounding businesses in Atlantic City, and it is just one more blow to a place that is one of the pillars of casino gambling in the United States – or at least, it was once. There are estimates that surrounding businesses have seen a drop of at least 20% since the strike started at the Trump Taj Mahal. It really hurts that this was done during the summer as businesses have lost a lot of their walk-in profits from people visiting the world famous boardwalk.