But already there are rumors that the closure might just be temporary.
Trump Taj Mahal, reincarnate?
The Press of Atlantic City was the main media outlet putting out the theory that the Trump Taj Mahal closure could just be a shell game.
While there’s no hard evidence that the Taj Mahal plans to reopen after a brief closure, it’s at least a feasible scenario. The casino wouldn’t continue to negotiate with the union in an ongoing labor dispute with thousands of workers, instead choosing to just close up shop.
But some, including Senate President Steven Sweeney, D-Camden, have expressed concerns about the property being closed for a couple of months, then reopening under a different name and without union employees.
“Because the way Carl Icahn has been,” Sweeney said referring to Icahn’s anti-union views. “What I don’t want to see him do is shut it down and then re-open it up and fire all the union workers. It’s called union busting.“
How likely is the Taj reopening scenario?
The Press of AC went on to note owner Carl Icahn still has a gambling license he can leverage, and that a rebrand could be in the cards for the property.
Sweeney is also working on legislation that would make the scenario portrayed by the Press of AC impossible to play out. According to The Associated Press, the bill “would disqualify casino owners from holding a gambling license for five years after closing a casino.”
That would obviously stop Icahn from just “rebooting” the Taj Mahal with a non-union workforce. The legislation, if passed, would allow the Taj Mahal to reopen if it struck a deal with the union.
Union workers protest at the Taj Mahal
Workers from the UNITE HERE Local 54 protested during the final hours of the Taj Mahal’s existence and immediately afterwards, highlighting that the closure is due in large part to the labor rift. From Philly.com:
The storied but hobbled Trump Taj Mahal shut its doors at 5:59 a.m. Monday after 26 years, as striking casino workers chanted and massed one last time on the 102d day of their strike and vowed, “We’ll be back.”
The strikers held a moment of silence at the moment the casino closed. They then walked en masse toward the doors and stuck their big poster, signed by nearly 1,000 members of UNITE Here Local 54, proclaiming “We held the line against Wall Street’s attack on the American worker,” into the revolving doors.
Will the Taj Mahal be able to reopen — under its original name or new one — either with or without labor peace? That will be a question answered in the coming weeks and months.
f11photo / Shutterstock.com