ATLANTIC CITY (CelebrityAccess) — After years of hemorrhaging money, the iconic boardwalk landmark The Trump Taj Mahal ceased operations on Monday.
The closure of the casino will leave approximately 3,000 employees out of work and is the fifth major Atlantic City casino to shutter in the past two years.
According to the Press of Atlantic City, the casino's owner Carl Icahn attributed the closure to a breakdown of negotiations with striking Unite Here Local 54 workers for preventing a “path to profitability.”
About 1,000 members of the union had been on strike since July over the loss of retirement and health care benefits. Workers believe that Icahn is likely to re-open the casino next year under a new name and without previous union contracts. They point to ongoing renovations and the cost of mothballing the building which the union estimates as $33 million, according to the Philadelphia.
"Workers are trying to reenter the middle-class after Icahn used the bankruptcy court to strip them of pay and benefits worth more than one-third of their total compensation," the union said in a press statement released in September. "Housekeepers, servers and other casino workers at the Taj Mahal earn on average less than $12 and hour."
While the casino still bears his name, Donald Trump has not owned the property since his company Trump Entertainment Resorts filing for bankruptcy protection in 2009. Following the bankruptcy, Icahn acquired the casino in 2014.
Icahn acquired the casino in 2014 after Trump Entertainment Resorts, whose assets by now mostly consisted of the Taj Mahal, filed for bankruptcy protection.
"Today is a sad day for Atlantic City. Despite our best efforts, which included losing almost $350 million over just a few short years, we were unable to save the Taj Mahal. I am extremely grateful to all of the almost 3,000 employees for their hard work, especially those that stayed loyal to us during this trying period. After our last offer, which included medical, was rejected, it was simply impossible to find a workable path forward that would not have required funding additional investments and losses in excess of $100 million over the next year. Like many of the employees at the Taj Mahal, I wish things had turned out differently," Icahn said in a statement on Monday. – Staff Writers