Hard Rock Completes Purchase of Trump Taj Mahal

by Jim Hall

Hard Rock InternationalGlobal expansion plans continue for Hard Rock International as their deal to acquire the Trump Taj Mahal of Atlantic City is complete.

Hard Rock International is known for two things; casino gaming and cafes. The company recently was working to acquire the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City to extend their reach in the United States as well as how many properties they own around the globe. With the new Atlantic City purchase, the company finally gains a foothold in the casino market of New Jersey.

New Details This Week

On Wednesday of this week, Hard Rock International is set to host a press conference to discuss details of the property and what they plan on doing with the Atlantic City gaming venue. The purchase price that Hard Rock paid for the property has yet to be disclosed but we do know that more than $300 million will be invested when combining the purchase price and the money used to redevelop the Taj into a Hard Rock branded venue. Hard Rock has plans to reopen by next spring and offer a quality experience throughout the more than 17 acres of land that the venue sits on at the Boardwalk.

A Little History

The Trump Taj Mahal Casino originally opened in the 1990s and was owned by Donald Trump, who is now the President of the United States. At the time, the casino was promoted as the 8th wonder of the world and was considered a top earning gaming venue in the city. However, over time the venue began to lose its appeal and Trump eventually disassociated with the casino, actually trying to have his name removed from the marquee.

By 2014, the casino and hotel was close to bankruptcy when Carl Icahn stepped in and purchased Tropicana Entertainment in 2015, the parent company of the Taj. Icahn was ready to spend major bucks to try and revitalize the casino. Yet his efforts would be fruitless once he decided to ask a bankruptcy judge if he could do away with health insurance and pension benefits for employees of the venue so he could use the money instead of revamping the casino. This was not the right decision and led to a strike that would last many months.

The strike began in early July and would land throughout the summer and into fall until Icahn would decide to close the casino in October. Icahn would remain quiet until earlier this year when he announced that a bidder had been found for the property. Everyone was surprised to find that the buyer was in fact, Hard Rock International.

Hard Rock’s New Jersey Efforts

Hard Rock International has tried for some time to offer gaming in New Jersey. In 2011, the company presented plans to create a casino but these plans feel through not long after they were announced. Then in 2015, the company began showing interest in North Jersey via the Meadowlands Racetrack. The company had made an agreement with the racing venue to work together to offer casino gaming is a November referendum was able to pass in 2016.

However, voters were not in agreement that gaming should take place anywhere other than Atlantic City and overwhelmingly shot down the referendum. The company is still interested in working with the Meadowlands but will be unable to do so unless the state constitution were to change and offer gaming outside of Atlantic City.

It will be interesting to see what representatives of Hard Rock have to say after the press conference this week and what exactly they have planned for the Trump Taj Mahal.