The former site of Trump Plaza in Atlantic City was a pile of rubble less than 20 seconds after a series of explosives rattled and imploded the empty main tower. For locals, last week’s implosion of Trump Plaza was the end of an era in a city that once proudly displayed the Trump name in lights across a beachfront skyline.
The definitive end of Trump Plaza is emotional for people who worked inside before it shuttered in 2014. Van Jones II, 33, a bar porter from 2005 until the closing, took the day off from work last Wednesday to watch the building come down. He witnessed the moment on Atlantic Avenue alongside his mother, Dawn Matthews, who worked as a cocktail waitress for 26 years. “Some people say, ‘Oh, it’s just a building who cares?’” Jones said. “Nah, nah, it’s not ‘Who cares?’ Did you work there?”
For a city that has seen its fair share of economic ups and downs, the implosion of a casino linked to President Donald Trump runs deeper than spectacle. It’s a signal for what the future could hold. “It’s going to symbolize the rebuilding of Atlantic City,” said Mayor Marty Small Sr. “We get one shot with center city oceanfront being available. We’re going to use that same effort and energy to put something there that we all could be proud of.”