[toc]Billionaire Carl Icahn isn’t going down without a fight over the shuttered Trump Taj Mahal.
Icahn fires back
Icahn made it quite clear into talk to the New Jersey media that he wasn’t pleased with the legislature’s effort to keep him from reopening the casino resort and breaking its current union agreement.
In December, the statehouse passed a bill that would stop Icahn from bringing back the property within five years — at least with a casino license. That bill is on the desk of Gov. Chris Christie.
Icahn, obviously, wasn’t excited about this development. And in talking to reporters, he made that abundantly clear. He had choice words for Senate President Steve Sweeney, telling the Associated Press that he and the legislature are “at war with business.”
Ever since the Taj closed in October, there had been rumors that Icahn’s plan all along had just been to break to union.
Icahn, not selling the Taj
First, and perhaps most importantly, Icahn said he was probably not selling the Taj any time soon.
From The Associated Press:
“We are not looking to sell it, not at today’s prices,” Icahn said. “I made my fortune buying things cheap.”
That walks back reports that Icahn was talking with potential buyers soon after the NJ legislature passed the bill.
Icahn also reportedly filed for a deed restriction that would prevent a future owner of the property from gaining a casino license without paying him an undetermined fee.
AC’s mayor: Sell the Taj
Every action in AC usually creates an equal and opposite reaction. And that came a day later when AC mayor Don Guardian weighed in on the realization that Icahn might not sell the Taj:
… Guardian said Wednesday that allowing the casino to stay vacant is “the worst of the worst” in terms of outcomes for the property
“He doesn’t have any faith in the city, I get it,” Guardian said. “But don’t let us lose that building on the Boardwalk. We need that activity and those jobs.”
Whether Icahn is just posturing — and if he actually has plans to reopen or sell — is unknown. But it’s clear the rancor surrounding the Taj isn’t going to dissipate any time soon.
Image credit: Roman Tiraspolsky / Shutterstock.com