Carl Icahn Cancels Trump Plaza Implosion Auction, Boys & Girls Club Loses $175K

Posted on: January 18, 2021, 10:02h. 

Last updated on: January 18, 2021, 10:52h.

Trump Plaza in Atlantic City is scheduled for implosion next month. But an auction to push the implosion button has been called off by the property’s owner, Carl Icahn.

Trump Plaza auction Carl Icahn Atlantic City
Trump Plaza will come down in February. An auction to hit the implosion button has been called off, property owner Carl Icahn opposing such an event. (Image: AP)

New Jersey-based Bodnar’s Auctions announced this week that Icahn Enterprises, which is paying to demolish the Boardwalk eyesore, opposed the auction. Icahn acquired Trump Entertainment Resorts, the former casino company of President Donald Trump, in 2016.

Shortly after announcing the auction, the attorneys for IEP AC Plaza LLC, a subsidiary controlled by Icahn Enterprises, sent a letter stating that IEP AC Plaza LLC was not on board with the situation and would in no way participate or help facilitate, citing safety issues. After exhausting every avenue to bring the parties together to make this exciting event happen, we received the final decision from IEP AC Plaza LLC that we must cease and desist,” a statement from Bodnar’s explained.

The auction was organized by Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. (D). The proceeds from the event were to be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City. At the time of the auction’s cancellation, the high bid was $175,000.

Political Chaos

The raid on the US Capitol on January 6 highlights just how politically divided the nation is, as President-elect Joe Biden takes office this week. Many in Atlantic City still have a sour taste in their mouths from Trump’s time spent owning and operating casinos in the New Jersey beachfront town.

Trump critics see a sense of irony in the last casino resort to bear his name come crashing down coinciding with what might be the end of his political career. Icahn, who has supported Trump with political donations, said through his attorneys that allowing someone to hit the ceremonial implosion button could jeopardize the safety of leveling the 39-story hotel structure.

Trump Plaza has sat vacant since it closed in September of 2014. The building’s exterior was crumbling, with pieces of its façade falling to the Boardwalk below in recent years. Local officials called it a public health hazard, prompting Icahn to finally agree to pay for its demolition.

The original 39-story hotel and casino space is being torn down. The property’s smaller hotel tower, located just north of the original structure, will remain, as will its rear parking garage across Pacific Avenue.

Bidder Unknown

Small had hoped the auction would raise $1 million for the Boys & Girls Club. It came nowhere near that figure, but $175,000 is certainly not insignificant.

2020 hit the Boys and Girls Club hard, as most nonprofits will agree, and they are in desperate need of donations to keep their club open,” Bodnar said. “The high bid was at $175,000, and that money would have greatly benefited the Boys & Girls Club at a time when it is needed most.”

Celebrities expressed interest in being the high bidder. Stormy Daniels, a former pornographic actress, launched an online fundraiser to help her win the rights. Singer/actress Bette Midler, an outspoken Trump critic, expressed her support for Daniels. But the fundraiser received less than $2,000 in donations.

The person who bid $175,000 has not been disclosed.