Now that we won't be wasting away in Margaritaville, what does the future hold for Trump Marina?
Last Sunday, Trump Entertainment Resorts officially pulled the plug on the deal that would have had New York-based Coastal Marina LLC buying the Marina and applying singer Jimmy Buffett's fun-in-the-sun-themed Margaritaville brand/philosophy.
The move could have been a needed shot in the arm for Atlantic City which has been--ahem--buffeted by the twin storms of casinos in Pennsylvania and a still-sour economy.
But things fell apart as the Trump group accused Coastal Marina of failing to hold up its end of the bargain by not having either the needed financing or licensing in place to close the deal.
But that's all water under the marina, as it were. The bigger question concerns the fate of the Marina, which, even in better days, always underperformed.
There has been no official word on the property's fate, although it's hard to imagine Trump Entertainment wants to keep it. The physical plant needs a lot of work, and there is nothing in the way of dining, entertainment, nightlife or other amenities that puts it anywhere near the level of its two Marina-district neighbors, Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa and Harrah's Resort Atlantic City, which pretty much are the town's standard bearers these days.
The prospect of the "nuclear option" of closing the Marina is too grim to contemplate, and the dried-up credit markets suggests there will be no other suitors for some time to come. Which leaves the Marina in a very difficult position--and Atlantic City without the prospect of a casino-hotel complex that might have been an effective weapon in the battle for casino customers and their money.