Pending approval by New Jersey casino regulators, the Meruelo Group of Downey, California, will purchase Trump Plaza for $20 million, and plans to close the deal by the end of May.
ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY — Long rumored to have been for sale, and coming to fruition almost two years to the day that his marina-district property was bought by Landry’s Restaurants for what was then considered a rock-bottom price tag, Donald Trump’s smaller of two Boardwalk casinos, Trump Plaza, was sold for about half the price Trump Marina went for in May 2011.
According to an Associated Press report, the Meruelo Group of Downey, California, purchased Trump Plaza for $20 million and plans to close the deal by the end of May.
The sale is subject to approval by New Jersey casino regulators. The transaction would represent the lowest price ever paid for a casino in Atlantic City, and is about one-tenth what Trump Plaza cost to build in 1984.
Trump Marina (now Golden Nugget) was sold to Landry’s owner Tilman Fertitta for $38 million in 2011. Trump Entertainment Resorts, of which Donald Trump now owns a 10 percent stake, is left with just one Atlantic City casino property, the Trump Taj Mahal.
Meruelo has not decided on a new name for property but it was reported that it will not continue to use the Trump name.
According to its Web site (meruelogroup.com), the Meruelo Group is a minority-owned-and-operated holding company with vested interests in construction and engineering, and affiliated interests in real estate, food services and private equity.
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“When I look at Atlantic City, maybe I just see something different,” says DeSanctis. “What I see, when you go out on our Sky Garden or you go out on our deck, that’s sort of the Atlantic City that I think about. We have this incredible geographic location. We have 47 million people within a six-hour drive of this place, and when we think about options from a resort perspective in the Northeast, there really aren’t any. "
"Local is an operating philosophy; it's not a geographic commitment," states ACH COO Michael Frawley. "Local means the best value you can find, not that you live around the corner.
“I believe in [Resorts]. It heralded the beginning of casino gaming in the East and has always had a special place in my heart. It is an exciting place with a lot of history and we are going to bring it back to life with even more energy and vitality than it possessed at its creation in 1978."
Some of the qualities that allowed Tilman Fertitta to reach the apex of the business world, and transform Landry’s Restaurants Inc. into a conglomerate worth nearly $4 billion, he seems to carry around like a set of car keys.
In what they hope will be a sweetheart deal announced on Valentine Day yesterday, Tilman J. Fertitta, Chairman, President, CEO and owner of Landry’s, Inc., parent company to the Golden Nugget Las Vegas and Laughlin, announced that Landry’s has agreed to buy the Trump Marina Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.