ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — This weekend marks the final weekend for the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. The casino is shutting down for good on Monday morning.
26 years ago, Donald Trump welcomed the world to his billion dollar Atlantic City dream. The Taj Mahal casino tried to be the picture of luxury.
Members of the original staff remember the early days fondly. “Awesome, it was like being in Hollywood,” said longtime employee Rose Hall. Now, she and other employees marched to a different beat.
Local 54’s strike for better benefits has now lasted 99 days, but will only go on for three more. At 5:59 a.m. on Monday morning, the Taj Mahal will close.
“We wanted to come out one last time before they closed,” said Audrey Rosatelli. “It’s pretty dead in there and depressing.”
For their part, Tropicana, which operates the Taj, blames Local 54’s president and negotiating team for closing the casino. The company is referring all questions regarding the closing to CEO Tony Rodio’s last statement which said:
“Bob McDevitt and the Taj bargaining committee have no one to blame but themselves for this sad outcome.”
“Before the strike, the roofs were leaking. It was in disrepair. We did not want to go on strike and our strike did not cause this building to close,” said employee Peter Battaglini.
Blame aside, come Monday, Atlantic City loses 2,800 jobs. Mayor Don Guardian says since casino competition has grown around the city in the last decade, the resort has learned to adjust and will do so once again.
“We’re doing everything we can to try to create the new jobs, the new vision for Atlantic City, that goes beyond just gaming,” Guardian said.
Trump has said that he wants his name off of the Taj Mahal, after it closes, closing the chapter on Donald Trump and Atlantic City.