Exploring an Abandoned Casino [Jersey Joe # 217]
How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, but Still Earned Millions - The New York Times During a decade when other Atlantic City casinos thrived, Donald J.
Mark Makela for The New York Times ATLANTIC CITY — The Trump Plaza Casino and Hotel is now closed, its windows clouded over by sea salt.
Not far away, the long-failing Trump Marina Hotel Casino was sold at a major loss five years ago and hollywood casino town gift now known as the Golden Nugget.
At the nearly deserted eastern end of the boardwalk, the Trump Taj Mahal, now under new ownership, is all that remains of the casino empire Donald J.
Trump assembled here more than a quarter-century ago.
Years of neglect show: The carpets are frayed and dust-coated chandeliers dangle above the few customers there to play the penny slot machines.
On the presidential campaign trail, Mr.
Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, often boasts of his success in Atlantic City, of how he outwitted the Wall Street firms that financed his casinos and rode the value of his name to riches.
A central argument of his candidacy is that he would bring the same business prowess to the Oval Office, doing for America what he did for his companies.
Trump said in an interview in May, summing up his 25-year history here.
But a close examination of regulatory reviews, court records and security filings by The New York Times leaves little doubt that Mr.
But even as his companies did poorly, Mr.
He put up little of his own money, shifted personal debts https://cetsolarstore.com/casino/highest-grossing-casinos-in-us.html the casinos and collected millions of dollars in salary, bonuses and other payments.
The burden of his failures fell on investors and others who had bet on his business acumen.
In three interviews with The Times since late April, Mr.
Trump acknowledged in general terms that high debt and lagging revenues had plagued his casinos.
He repeatedly emphasized that what really mattered about his time in Atlantic City was that he had made a lot of money there.
Trump assembled his casino empire by borrowing money at such high interest rates — after telling regulators he would not — that the businesses had almost no chance to succeed.
His casino companies made four trips to bankruptcy court, each time persuading bondholders to accept less money rather than be wiped out.
But the companies repeatedly added more expensive debt and returned to the court for protection from lenders.
After narrowly escaping financial ruin in the early 1990s by delaying payments on his debts, Mr.
Trump avoided a second potential crisis by taking his casinos public and shifting the risk to stockholders.
And he never was able to draw in enough gamblers to support all of the borrowing.
During a decadeMr.
All the while, Mr.
Trump received copious amounts for himself, with the help of a compliant board.
In one instance, The Times found, Mr.
Trump now says that he left Atlantic City at the perfect time.
The record, however, shows that he struggled to hang on to his casinos casinos new jersey after the city had peaked, and failed only because his investors no longer wanted him in a management role.
There are those here who fondly remember Mr.
Butera, the president of Mr.
It was April 1990, and Mr.
In a remarkably short time, Mr.
Trump had become a commanding figure source Atlantic City, with his casinos accounting for nearly a third of its gambling revenues and employing more than 8,000 people.
Trump Plaza came first.
In the early 1980s, Mr.
The 39-story opened in 1984.
From the start, the partners were at odds over its marketing and.
After buying a controlling interest in Resorts from the estate of its founder, for control of the company.
In the end, Mr.
Griffin got the company, while Mr.
Trump won the still-unfinished Taj Mahal.
Trump told the commission in 1988 that he could rein in expenses, because conventional lenders were lining up to give him money at low interest rates.
He said he abhorred junk bonds, which were then popular, because they carried a bigger risk of default and thus came with higher interest rates.
Within months, he reversed course,with a 14 percent interest rate, to finish construction and get the Taj open.
In recent interviews, Mr.
Trump has yet casino en linea forosperu with that with each financing he routinely took money out of the casinos to invest in Manhattan real estate.
Less than two weeks before the casino opened, Marvin B.
Roffman told The Journal.
Trump retaliated, demanding that Janney Montgomery Scott fire Mr.
Bucky Howard, who was promoted by Mr.
Trump to president of the Taj five days after it opened, in a recent interview.
The Taj was underfunded.
https://cetsolarstore.com/casino/three-rivers-casino-florence-or.html had trouble making the debt payments on the Taj and his other casinos.
After more than tripling as new casinos opened through casinos new jersey 1980s, gambling revenues in Atlantic City flattened in 1990, rising by just 1.
All were hurt, recalled Mr.
Perskie, the casino regulator, but none were in the catastrophic financial shape of Mr.
At the same time, Mr.
The Castle was also late.
By December 1990, when Mr.
Trumphis father, Fred C.
They also put him on a for personal and household expenses.
Just over a year after it opened, the Taj Mahal was in bankruptcy court, followed in 1992 by both the Plaza and the Castle.
In the plan that was worked out, Mr.
Trump ceded to the lenders a 50 percent stake in the businesses in return for lower interest rates.
The lenders agreed to defer certain principal and interest payments and hold off on personal claims against Mr.
Trump for five years.
But there was little or no reduction in the enormous debts that would plague his gambling empire far into the future.
Trump now says he looks back on the period as his golden era in the casino casinos new jersey />Steven Norton, a casino consultant and a former casino executive at Resorts International.
Trump took the Taj into bankruptcy.
It took three years to recover any money owed for his work on the casino, she said, and her father received only 30 cents on the dollar.
Rosser, who runs Triad today.
He dealt with that danger by first shifting much of his personal debt onto his casinos, then onto a new group:.
More than half of the new money went to pay off Mr.
Then, in June 1995, with the risk of being forced into bankruptcy just weeks away, Mr.
Trump shifted ownership of the Plaza casino to a new, publicly traded company: Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts.
Becoming a public company burdened Mr.
Trump, the largest shareholder and chairman of the board, could generally meet that obligation by obtaining approval from his board of directors and disclosing financial details in securities filings.
During his financial pinch two years earlier, Chemical Bank had forced Mr.
Trump to give up his ownership of the Trump Regency, a hotel next to the Trump Plaza.
The new company exercised that option, in effect transferring Mr.
Trump personally owed to two banks.
The company also and — soon renamed the Trump Marina — shifting more of Mr.
Trump celebrated his 50th birthday that June at the Taj Mahal, with the Beach Boys onstage.
Roffman, the analyst whom Mr.
Trump had gotten fired, giving Mr.
Trump credit for turning things around.
Roffman had from Janney Montgomery for his dismissal and settled a lawsuit against Mr.
Trump for an undisclosed sum.
He later settled the suit.
Another crucial deadline came in 1998.
A default would have made him lose control of the company.
Instead, the casino company lent him the money to pay back the bankers.
A shareholder sued, accusing the board of directors of breaching its fiduciary responsibility.
The company desperately needed and needs cash to shore up its deteriorating financial condition.
Trump paid the company back.
Those losses would continue.
The casino company leased office space in Trump Tower in Manhattan, and Mr.
In its response, Mr.
The company never disclosed in securities filings just how much the jet was used for casino purposes.
Trump fired the chief executive and installed himself in the role, promising he would turn things around.
Trump told The Associated Press at the time.
Beginning in 1997, his share of the Atlantic City gambling market began to slip from its peak of 30 percent.
Revenues at other Atlantic City casinos rose 18 percent from 1997 through 2002; Mr.
Competition grew more intense in 2003, when the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa opened.
Revenues at Trump casinos dropped another 6 percent in a little more than a year.
But with sagging revenues and high costs, his casinos had too little money for renovations and improvements, which are vital for hotels to attract guests.
The public company never logged a profitable year.
Roffman, the casino analyst.
In a recent interview, Mr.
Trump attributed his declining market share in those years to the fact that his three casinos were competing with one another, a tacit acknowledgment that he overbuilt.
Trump was already asking his bondholders to accept less money, in preparation for a third casino bankruptcy.
Yet, at the same time, he managed to pull more money out of the company for himself, The Times found.
Since taking Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts public, Mr.
So when he bought 10 percent of the shares in Riviera Hotel and Casino, a company based in Las Vegas, Mr.
Trump was required to grant an option to purchase the shares to his public corporation.
Trump sold the Riviera shares in April 2004, the company, which was entitled to the proceeds, simply canceled the option, without explanation.
But in its securities filings, Riviera reported that Mr.
Asked to review the transaction by The Times, James D.
At the time, the company was also asking its lenders for a break, and headed toward another bankruptcy.
Grime gathered on a decorative crest outside the closed Trump Plaza Casino.
In a recent interview, Mr.
Trump said that he did not recall the transaction or why the board had canceled its option.
Months later, in November 2004, the company filed for bankruptcy protection, the third such trip for Trump casinos.
Shares sometimes charlestown hollywood casino buffet below a dollar, but Mr.
Trump said the problems had been fixed.
Trump told The Las Vegas Sun in 2005.
Trump to invest in the company shortly before the bankruptcy was filed.
My timing was great.
And I got a lot of credit for it.
Trump willingly left sometime around 2006, the year that revenues peaked in Atlantic City and that Pennsylvania allowed its first casino to open, a development that marked the start of a rapid downward for rocky gap casino room deals fill in the city.
The drop-off was exacerbated by the recession that began in 2008.
But in early 2009, as Trump casinos lurched toward bankruptcy for the fourth time, Mr.
Trump was still trying to hang on.
At loggerheads with board members who had been selected by bondholders after the 2004 bankruptcy, he offered to buy all or a part of the casino company bearing his name.
He was rebuffed, and he quit the board soon after.
Testifying in bankruptcy court in Camden, N.
There were odd moments on the stand.
As in previous cases, others warned that Mr.
This time it was Carl C.
Icahn, the activist investor who had a major stake in the company.
The two men now describe themselves as friends and Mr.
Trump, the company had a long history of making rosy revenue projections and never meeting them, Mr.
But a judge and noted that Mr.
For the first time, Mr.
Trump had no official role at the company he had founded, and he.
In a recent interview, Mr.
Trump acknowledged that he left Atlantic City when he did because he failed in his effort to buy back the casinos.
But he said the timing worked out well for him, in the end.
Trump for it in 1996.
The Plaza was shuttered.
The Florida lawsuit that Mr.
Trump and his daughter Ivanka sued the company, saying their brand was being tarnished by the ramshackle appearance of the Taj Mahal.
Trump continued to earn money from the casinos.
It was awful to casinos new jersey />I have to give Trump credit for using his celebrity time and time again.
The chief executive cited the debt level after the 2009 bankruptcy as the primary reason.
For a time, Mr.
Trump lent a glamorous sheen to the faded resort city.
But some of his former investors no longer see the value.
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