Donald playing legal Trump card to get his name off fading resorts

The tycoon wants operators to remove his name from the Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal hotel casinos in Atlantic City due to their shabby appearance

US Editor

Donald Trump, the tycoon with interests that range from gambling to property development, television and even politics, has never been shy about plastering his name on everything he builds. Seemingly, though, he wants also to reserve the right to take his name down if the edifices in question cease reflecting what he thinks it stands for.

That is at the heart of a lawsuit filed by Mr Trump this week that aims to force the operators of two hotel casinos in Atlantic City, the Trump Plaza and the Trump Taj Mahal, to remove his name from each of them on the grounds that they have become shabbier than he can abide. He is asking that it be excised also from the operator itself, Trump Entertainment Resorts. Though he has a small stake in the company he hasn’t controlled it for years.

The lawsuit is a curious reverse shuffle for Mr Trump, whose arguably narcissistic need to adorn everything he builds recently got him a lashing from the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, after 20-foot-tall letters spelling TRUMP appeared on the side of the newly built Trump International Hotel & Tower in the city centre. Mr Emanuel raged that the sign was a blot and “architecturally tasteless”.

But if Mr Trump purrs with pride at his Chicago tower he clearly shudders at what has become of the two properties that once were the glittering mainstays of Atlantic City strip. For the Trump Plaza, things have become so dreadful that it is now doomed to cease operations next month. A warning letter was sent to its more than 1,000 employees in July setting 16 September as its likely closing date.

The suit reveals that Mr Trump ordered two independent quality reviews of the Plaza this year and in 2012 and that it failed both times. The operating company, which was born when Mr Trump’s once burgeoning gambling empire emerged from the second of three bankruptcies, has had a licensing agreement with him allowing it to use his name. Donald Trump Donald Trump

“I want it off both of them,” Mr Trump said after his suit was filed. “I’ve been away from Atlantic City for many years. People think we operate [the company], and we don’t. It’s not us. It’s not me.” According to the suit the poor condition of the hotels is a violation of the original licensing agreement. The warning of closure was the last straw.

“Not only does the issuance of these Warn notices further harm the Trump name and brand, but it also underscores the [company’s] inability to remedy the appalling conditions that gave rise to the defaults under the licensing agreement in the first place,” the lawsuit says, adding the company has “failed to operate and manage the casino properties in accordance with the high standards of quality and luxury required”.

For Atlantic City, the spat is a distraction in a summer filled with woes. As things stand, four hotel casinos could be gone by the end of this year – the Trump Plaza, the  Showboat Casino Hotel, the Atlantic Club Casino and even Revel, a $2.4bn resort opened only in 2012 with hopes that it would reverse the city’s crumbling fortunes.

On New Jersey’s shore, Atlantic City was for years the favoured destination for East Coast gamblers. But it never quite attained the verve or volume of Las Vegas and in recent years it has been squeezed as neighbouring states, including Maryland and New York, have moved to legalise and encourage casino operations. In the past eight years alone, revenues from gambling in Atlantic City have dropped by half, leaving all the big casinos in trouble.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower