Trump Plaza in Atlantic City to close, adding to city's woes: report

Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:41pm EDT

Real estate developer Donald Trump looks on during a news conference with the PGA in New York May 1, 2014.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Real estate developer Donald Trump looks on during a news conference with the PGA in New York May 1, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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(Reuters) - The Trump Plaza Hotel in Atlantic City could shut its doors in September and lay off 1,000 workers, a local newspaper reported, in what could make it the fourth casino to close this year in the faltering New Jersey resort city.

The Press of Atlantic City said in a story posted online late on Friday that an official from Trump Plaza called New Jersey state Senator Jim Whelan and told him the casino, which is owned by Trump Entertainment Resorts, expected to issue layoff notices on Monday ahead of a Sept. 16 closure.

Reuters could not confirm the report. Representatives for Trump Entertainment Resorts, Whelan and a union for the casino's employees did not returns calls.

Trump Plaza employs about 1,000 people, according to regulatory reports.

The seashore casino is one of the poorest performers in Atlantic City, which began the year with 12 casinos. Trump Plaza booked less than half its rooms in the first quarter of 2014, and had the lowest gaming revenue of any of the city's casinos in May, according to state documents.

Its expected closure follows a series of blows for Atlantic City, and would mean the city would have a third fewer casinos than at the start of the year.

The Atlantic Club casino was sold and shut down in January. Showboat, one of Atlantic City's largest properties, has announced it will close at the end of August. The $2.4 billion Revel casino, the city's newest, has said it could close Aug. 18 if a buyer is not found.

Businessman Donald Trump owns a 10 percent stake in Trump Entertainment Resorts, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing the company made last year.

The company, which also owns the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, sought to sell Trump Plaza last year to California-based Meruelo Group for $20 million. But investor Carl Icahn, who held the mortgage on the casino, blocked the sale, said media reports at the time.

(Reporting by Daniel Kelley in Philadelphia; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Peter Cooney)

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