Art of the steal: Deals at Trump’s former casino
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — For some, it was The Art of the Steal.
Hundreds of people swarmed the lobby of Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal casino on Thursday, hoping to score big.
But they weren’t gamblers. They were bargain hunters searching for rock-bottom deals at a liquidation sale of the contents of the ostentatious casino that Donald Trump built in 1990.
And while ornate crystal chandeliers from Austria that the future president and his first wife, Ivana, picked out for the casino were up for sale, more popular items included TVs, chairs and room furnishings.
“I have no use for chandeliers, but I can use a nice TV for my bedroom,” said Gerald Winchester, of Atlantic City.
Political junkies were likely to be disappointed: All items with the Trump name on them were removed from the casino before the sale began.
“I would have liked to get a roulette table or a blackjack table with the name ‘Trump’ on it,” said Dr. Jason Bourne, who was on his way to Atlantic City from Bethesda, Md., when he learned of the sale.
The three largest chandeliers above the main escalators cost $250,000 apiece when new; they were selling for $35,000 Thursday. And the seven smaller chandeliers in the lobby were already drawing interest at $7,500 apiece, marked down from $40,000.
“We actually have somebody from Texas that’s flying in here to take a look at them,” said Don Hayes of National Content Liquidators, which was conducting the sale. “He’s gonna put ’em all in his house!”
The company purchased the unwanted contents of the casino and hotel from Hard Rock International, which bought the shuttered property in March for $50 million, or about four cents on the dollar from the $1.2 billion Trump spent to open it.
It is then up to the liquidators to get whatever they can for the individual items. Hayes would not say how much the company hoped to make from the sale.
Trump cut most ties with Atlantic City in 2009, having lost control of the casino company in a bankruptcy. His friend and fellow billionaire Carl Icahn shut the Taj Mahal down last October amid a bitter strike with Atlantic City’s main labour union.
A woman shops for $8 irons at the former Trump Taj Mahal casino.