ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — A piece of Atlantic City history was reduced to rubble Wednesday as the former Trump Plaza casino was imploded. The demolition drew a big crowd of onlookers.
The Atlantic City beach and boardwalk looks a lot different after the implosion, with several big booms rocking the neighborhood.
It took only a matter of seconds for the former Trump Plaza to come crashing down in a pile of rubble.
The pier shook at One Atlantic, where a group of people, including Mayor Marty Small and 10 couples who won an auction to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club, watched as the 39-story building fell.
“I still got chills. This is a historic moment,” the mayor said. “We all in here will remember where we were together here at One Atlantic watching it. It was exciting watching it.”
Then, a big plume of smoke and debris engulfed the area as it drifted toward the beach.
— Jan Carabeo (@JanCarabeoCBS3) February 17, 2021
“You felt the booms come down, you hear the boom, boom, boom and it comes straight down. It’s amazing how they can contain it like that and it comes straight down like that,” said onlooker Joseph Bodnar.
“What’s made this really unique to me is the cloud of dust, being inside and in the center of this cloud of dust that looked almost like a whiteout outside,” Philadelphia resident Nanette Steffenhagen said.
Former President Donald Trump opened Trump Plaza in 1984 and it quickly became a popular gaming destination, but his stake in it dwindled to just 10% by the time it closed in 2014. And for the last several years, the nameless building deteriorated.
Trump Plaza implodes pic.twitter.com/xhZG5568T9
— Matt Petrillo (@MattPetrillo) February 17, 2021
All that’s left now is a big pile of debris that will take months to clean up.
There is no word yet on what’s next for the beachfront property.
“If I had it my way it would be some mixed-use development with some form of family entertainment to complement the Steel Pier,” Small said.
The property is now owned by ICAHN Enterprises, headquartered in Florida. Eyewitness News reached out to ask what its plans are but didn’t hear back.