Mayor Marty Small Sr. announced Thursday that the Jersey Shore town is auctioning the chance to push the button that will set off the implosion of the now-closed Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.
The city plans to donate the money raised to the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City.
“Personally, I’m a pretty ambitious guy. I want to raise at least a million dollars,” Small said in a news conference Thursday.
The funds will go toward expanding and sustaining the club’s operations for its three sites across the city, Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City CEO Stephanie Koch told CNN.
The club serves as many as 1,200 children per year and has expanded its operations amid the pandemic to 12 hours a day, Koch said.
“No longer is the Boys & Girls Club a simple after-school program,” Koch said at the news conference, noting that the club now offers meals, academic enrichment and workforce development programs.
Originally scheduled to happen around New Year’s Eve, the building’s demolition is now set for early February. Bidding is already live online with “a lot of action already,” the mayor said.
Trump Plaza announced its closure in 2014. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn currently owns the site, Small said.
“Listen, make no mistake about it. Carl Icahn is a major player in this town, and we appreciate all the contributions that he made to the great city of Atlantic City,” Small said, adding that he hopes the future development will contain some sort of family entertainment component.
He said his administration will assist in any way it can on the site’s future.
Trump’s decadeslong relationship
with Atlantic City has been marked by rocky finances and grandiose ambition. His most noted property, the Trump Taj Mahal hotel and casino — which he dubbed “the eighth wonder of the world” — officially closed in 2016 with less fanfare.
By the time of its closure, Trump owned only the name attached to the Taj, with Icahn controlling the rest.
CNN has reached out to a spokesperson for the Trump Organization for comment.