Atlantic City, N.J. – Trump’s Taj Mahal’s new owner finally sat down Friday at a poker table as the casino complex reopened its poker room since shutting down in February last year due to bankruptcy. Billionaire Carl Icahn, the new owner of the Taj Mahal casino and hotel, has not confirmed whether he will invest the $100 million he promised to make the place look again like “the eighth wonder of the world”.
He rescued the gambling hall as it repeatedly threatened to close and managed to keep it going during its Chapter 11. Icahn, however, hesitated about spending the full $100 million as soon as he took over in March, given that the casino is most likely to be at a bad competitive position compared to two new casinos in the northern part of New Jersey.
Voters in the state are set to decide in November whether to approve them and Icahn will wait until the referendum to commit or not to investing that amount of money. Still, he is ready to work on repairing the damage caused to the brand image of the Taj Mahal by the tough situation it faced as it languished in bankruptcy court and was about to close several times over the last year and a half.
Icahn has also approved $15 million to repair some damages. That amount of money has been authorized to reactivate lights and water fountains, 250 new slot machines and fix leaks in a roof. The money will also go to live entertainment every night in the re-done Ego lounge and in reopening a poker room.
“We want to let the world know that we are open for business and we’re not going anywhere,” expressed Tony Rodio, head of the Icahn-owned Tropicana casino, which now operates the Taj Mahal as well, The Washington Post reported.
The Taj Mahal promises that works are already being done to reopen 180 hotel rooms by July 4. The complex has 2,010 hotel rooms in total.
The full $100 investment would bring branded restaurants, new nightclubs and other entertainment alternatives to fill the vast empty areas of the huge casino complex, or at least that is how Rodio visualizes the new Taj Mahal. He said they just have to find the way to “paint” the empty spaces he describes as part of a big canvas, according to the Washington Post. The casino complex ranked 7th out of the eight casinos in Atlantic City last year as it gained $180 million from gamblers.
Trump gave up on the casino complex as he failed to keep it running
Michael Jackson took part in the grand opening of the $1.1 billion Taj Mahal in 1990 when it was the most expensive casino ever built. Its chandeliers alone are worth $16 million, but the complex went first bankrupt in 1991 due to debt.
Donald Trump, who has received financial support from Icahn for his presidential campaign, was unable to keep majority control in the casino’s bankruptcy filling in 2004. The casino company no longer belongs to him since 2009 and he has not had anything to do with it since the 10 percent stake for the use of his name was eliminated Sourin bankruptcy court.
Source: ABC News