Boom With A View: Caesars AC Offering Packages To Watch Trump Plaza Implosion

Would you pay $299 for a front and center seat to watch the Feb. 17 implosion of the former Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino?

But unlike a pro sporting event, you will not be told to leave immediately after the hotel tower transforms into a pile of rubble.

You see, the price is actually for Caesars Atlantic City’s stay-and-view room package.

Talk about a great view.

The two properties are so close you could jump from one rooftop to the other. Figuratively speaking, of course. The buildings are separated by a Boardwalk access ramp.

Steve Callender, Regional President Caesars Entertainment, weighed in on next week’s historic occasion.

“The proximity of Caesars to the implosion site is the closest most will get to the historic milestone in Atlantic City next week, and we’ve had high demand from guests who are seeking to book rooms & suites with a front row seat to the action,”

“We are releasing a limited number of stay-and-view room packages that offer our guests the opportunity to witness the beginning of a new era for Center Boardwalk and a new view of the Atlantic City skyline.”

Details of Caesars stay-and-view package

Yes, some might consider $299 plus tax a little pricey for an Atlantic City hotel room. We are talking about midweek in February.

However, Feb. 17 will be rather unique as Trump Plaza, which sits at the center of the Boardwalk, has been closed since 2014. So guests will be getting a front row seat, or in this case, a hotel room, to watch Atlantic City history.

As of Friday afternoon, Caesars AC had 27 rooms available specifically for the stay-and-view rate.

Here is what the package includes:

  • A front seat with “exclusive view” to Atlantic City history
  • Champagne delivery
  • 1 p.m. checkout

So making early morning mimosas for the implosion is an option.

Bader Field, which is the public viewing area, will be charging $10 a car. Plus. it’s about two miles away and outside.

Trump Plaza implosion will boost mid-week business

The early Atlantic City forecast for Feb. 17  is 36 degrees and partly cloudy.

Not exactly ideal for taking a walk on the AC Boardwalk or the beach. And besides properties operating at 35% capacity due to the pandemic, it is offseason.

However, was far as Atlantic City implosions go, Trump Plaza will be only the second property to see its fate end with a boom.

Sands Atlantic City, way back in 2007, was the other. And that property has been vacant since.

AP Photo/Wayne Parry

Mark your Calendars, Trump Plaza Implosion Set For Feb. 17

The former Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic City will be imploded at 9 a.m. on Feb. 17 and new charity auction has been announced.

The former Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic City will be imploded at 9 a.m. on Feb. 17.

The shuttered Boardwalk casino hotel once owned by former President Donald Trump was originally scheduled to be brought down on Jan. 29. However, demolition delays and a minor dispute with the building’s current owner pushed the date back.

“This has been a tedious process, working with all the professionals,” Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. said during a news conference Thursday morning from City Hall.

Will there be a safe implosion viewing area?

Leading up to the implosion date, several businesses on the Boardwalk will have to close for safety reasons, Fire Chief Scott Evans said.

“This implosion will affect the surrounding neighborhood,” Evans said, adding there will be specific areas that are exclusion zones, evacuation zones and areas where residents must stay indoors. 

So while getting a front row seat may be difficult, there  will be a public viewing area. Bader Field is located about two miles from the center of the AC Boardwalk.

More details, including the parking fee, are expected soon.

New online auction to benefit AC Boys & Girls Club

Thursday’s announcement came just days after a charity auction tied to the implosion was canceled at the behest of the property owner, billionaire Wall Street investor Carl Icahn. Proceeds from the auction were to go to the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City. The winner, or winners, would have pushed the button to start the implosion.

Instead, an auction for 10 front-row seats at One Atlantic Events inside the Playground Pier is now open. Winning bidders will not only get an indoor, unobstructed view of the implosion but also an overnight stay and dinner at either Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City or Ocean Casino Resort.

The Boys & Girls Club will still receive the auction proceeds. 

Icahn agreed to contribute $175,000 to the non-profit, the amount of the highest bid before he nixed the plan.

Small, who wanted to raise $1 million for the youth club he once attended and worked at, thanked Icahn for the “generous donation.”

Background on Trump Plaza implosion

Trump Plaza opened in 1984 and closed in 2014. Icahn acquired the building in 2016 when he purchased the debt of the thrice-bankrupt Trump Entertainment Resorts.

Following a storm in the spring where pieces of the building’s facade flew off and crashed below on the streets and Boardwalk, the city declared the Plaza a safety hazard. The city later filed a complaint with the courts to force Icahn to either remediate or tear down the building.

However, the savvy investor’s team said the demolition process was already underway.

‘One shot’ to redevelop Trump Plaza lot after demo

The last Atlantic City casino to be imploded was the Sands in October 2007. And that one took place at night with fireworks, music, and a big crowd. The lot remains vacant today.

The mayor is hoping to avoid a similar fate once the Plaza is gone. Small said the city is already in discussions with Icahn about developing the prime real estate sitting at the base of the Atlantic City Expressway.

“This city only has one shot with this land,” he said. “It’s not often that center-city, waterfront space opens up in a city like this.”

Dreamstime Photo 

With Trump Plaza On The Chopping Block, What Should Replace It In Atlantic City?

The news that Trump Plaza demolition plans were submitted to Atlantic City officials sparked a lot of questions. Here are five ideas to replace Trump Plaza.

The hats will soon be thrown in the ring. Thursday’s announcement from Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small about the forthcoming demolition of Trump Plaza launched speculation about future plans.

Who will become the new owner? How will this centerpiece of Atlantic City’s Boardwalk be used?

Even Small said he did not know how it should be utilized yet. The end of a gaming establishment points to non-gaming use of this space, but that depends upon who takes over.

Most casinos already bring marquee items like high-end restaurants, Top Golf, and sportsbooks inside their doors.

So, what should this be?

Here are five possible options to replace Trump Plaza, focusing both on the concepts and the ideas they will eventually produce. Some are serious, some fun, some whimsical.

There will be more coming later from entrepreneurs, investors, and city officials, but this is the first day the suggestions count.

1. Build from within

Mark Callazzo, the Economic Impact Award recipient from the Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce last year, endorses enhanced infrastructure.

Building an identity through city neighborhoods and businesses will create a destination area in the heart of Atlantic City, he believes.

“What I would want to put on the Plaza is a combination of proper amenities and housing,” Callazzo told NJGamblingSites. “You could have a mixed-use development of bars and restaurants on the first floor and apartments on the second floor.

“We don’t need another hotel. We don’t need more attractions. What we need are more people, which means you have to make them want to live here. You have to give them the bars, the restaurants, the salons, the yoga establishments, etc.”

Callazzo added that a benefit of mixed-use development to replace Trump Plaza comes down to money.

“If you bring more taxpayers here, you not only grow your base but you bring entrepreneurs who employ others. You bring people who invent things. That will change the city.

You will also create more amenities to bring people here in the first place and that’s going to help your casinos.”

2. Follow the Orange Loop

One example of his vision occurs in the northern end of Atlantic City, which includes Tennessee Avenue.

It is a unique collection of restaurants, bars, live music areas, coffee, and a yoga establishment, among others. It resembles a city concept of people able to stroll from business to business.

In this case, the Loop is also near casino properties.

Callazzo, along with help from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) spearheaded The Orange Loop. The name comes from the orange deed color of Tennessee Avenue in the game Monopoly.

It has entirely transformed the area.

“This block has become something of a phenomenon,” former Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam said when a signature property, Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall, opened in 2018.

“About a year ago, this area was the zombie land.”

Starting with the beach block of Tennessee Avenue and expanding into St. James Place and New York Avenues, the Orange Loop brought an identity to a dormant part of Atlantic City.

The Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall sports more than 100 beers, lunch and dinner, an outdoor patio with a bar and fire pit. It has become a millennial hot spot.

Inside, it has giant-screen televisions. During the NFL betting season, it was also packed with gamblers wagering on their NJ sportsbook apps.

Could this concept be brought to the middle of Atlantic City on a larger scale? That creates the next point.

3. Open-air splendor where Trump Plaza once stood

Callazzo considers the Piazza in Philadelphia, which he termed “almost its own self-contained city,” an excellent use of midtown space.

Atlantic City would have plenty of it with the dismantling of the centrally-located Trump Plaza.

The Piazza is designed and named after Rome’s famous piazzas, giving Philadelphia natives and visitors a new place to gather outside.

It is a beautifully landscaped, 80,000-square-foot, open-air plaza, surrounded by three buildings. It is home to restaurants, markets, and boutiques.

The Piazza includes an 800-square-foot stage and a high-definition, 400-square-foot Daktoniks LED screen, making the space jump with activity all year long.

Add that dynamic in the vicinity of casinos and what happens? Foot traffic.

4. Think millennial. And adult.

About 30 miles south of Atlantic City, a Stone Harbor entrepreneur plans to unveil a high-end putting course (par 57), along with a simulator area that gives patrons the feel of playing over 100 classic courses.

There is also food, a BYOB, and delivery service. You can spend four hours there if you want. Dinner, drinks, and a few mulligans, a good night out.
That can be done here.

Golf simulation is fairly popular, especially indoors during the winter. Ocean Casino boasts Top Golf when it opened in 2018, and it is still a hit.

Shovel the driveway, then go play Pebble Beach.

5. Bring on the music venue

Not just music, but reasonably high-end acts, especially during the summer and in shoulder seasons. Think about a series on a consistent night.

Granted, the Atlantic City casinos themselves hoast a variety of acts and events. But the bulk of those occurs in the summer. Plan for a music series at an indoor hall during the winter and you have the beginnings of something big.

And here’s an honorable mention that ties in nicely with the family-friendly indoor water park planned next to the Showboat.

How about a nice big bowling alley somewhere in this mix? After all, the Showboat doesn’t have one anymore.