July 14 (Reuters) - Layoff notices went out on Monday for roughly 1,000 employees of Atlantic City’s Trump Plaza Casino Hotel, in anticipation of a Sept. 16 closure, the company said in a statement.
The pink slips came as the company that owns the casino, Trump Entertainment Resorts, has begun “reviewing alternatives for the property,” the company statement said.
“Although this review has not been completed and no final decision has been made, the company expects that it will terminate the operations of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino on or shortly after September 16, 2014,” the statement said.
The seashore casino is one of the poorest performers in Atlantic City, which began the year with 12 casinos but with the Trump Plaza closing could be down to eight. 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.
New Jersey Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, who represents Atlantic City and surrounding towns, said the layoffs were the latest in a series of blows to the region’s economy.
“We didn’t expect this to happen all at once like this,” Mazzeo said.
The Atlantic Club casino was sold and shut down in January. Showboat, one of Atlantic City’s largest properties, has said 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
Businessman Donald Trump owns a 10 percent stake in Trump Entertainment Resorts.
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.
Atlantic City’s casinos have withered under competition from casinos in neighboring states. Gaming revenue in the Jersey Shore city has declined from a $5.2 billion peak in 2006 to $2.8 billion last year. (Reporting by Daniel Kelley in Philadelphia; Editing by Barbara Goldberg in New York)