ATLANTIC CITY — The de-Trumping of the Trump Taj Mahal has begun.
The casino hotel, closed since October and not owned by President Trump for years, began a process of removing the Trump signs from the exterior of the building this week.
On Tuesday, the big Trump sign on the Boardwalk, which was often seen behind striking casino workers last year, was taken down, as spotted by the Eagle Eyes of Route 40.
Wednesday morning, things were speeding up, as workers from Eastern Sign Technology went after the big Trump branding on the Virginia Avenue entrance, the one with marble elephants heralding the way.
The property, now owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, was subject to licensing agreements with the Trump Organization that required the Trump signage to be removed by March 2017 if renovations or improvements were not done. Presumably, the property's being closed and empty meant it would not meet those requirements.
And so, as the president was surrounded by allegations of Russian intrigue, it was, naturally, a Russian worker named Serge Bycov who was hoisted up in the bucket to remove the red Trump banner.
"No, I do not," Bycov replied,when asked if he had any connections other than the signs to the president.
Three Trump signs from the Virginia Avenue entrance, an elaborate driveway once lit up with marquee lights, were to be removed Wednesday. In addition, a "Trump" was removed from a white elephant statue on Route 30 a few blocks away.
In all, workers counted 17 Trump signs that would need to be removed, including several atop the towers that are to be taken down next week.
With legislation to strip Icahn of his casino license having been vetoed, rumors have abounded as to who might be interested in buying the enormous property, once the signature piece of both Atlantic City and the brash billionaire who commanded its stage.
Glenn Straub, owner of the still-closed Revel property, reportedly walked the property this week, and Hard Rock International, which still owns the restaurant attached to the Taj, which is still open, has also apparently been kicking some tires.
But neither will have the Trump to go with their Taj after this week. (Can anyone say Straub Mahal?)
The Taj was the last casino to have the Trump name on it in Atlantic City, and one of four that have closed since 2014. The Trump Plaza, which closed in 2014, had its Trump branding literally whitewashed out and boarded over.
The aluminum signs will be taken to the Eastern lot in Burlington Township and most likely be cut up for scrap, workers said.