N.J. na­tive plan­ning Trump casino mu­seum

Palm Beach Daily News - - OPINION - By JAN SJOSTROM

One day, there might be a mu­seum ded­i­cated to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump — not to his pres­i­dency, but to his years as a casino mogul in At­lantic City.

As an ap­pe­tizer, Levi Fox, the New Jersey na­tive spear­head­ing the At­lantic City Trump Mu­seum Pro­ject, re­cently com­pleted a se­ries of weekly pop-up ex­hibits in front of the soon-to-be de­mol­ished Trump Plaza Ho­tel and Casino, art­net.com re­ported.

Among

the

roughly 60 ob­jects on dis­play: vin­tage pho­tographs of razed Trump prop­er­ties, a Trump Ma­rina Teddy bear made in China, a Trump Ma­rina T-shirt made in El Sal­vador and a Trump Taj Ma­hal robe man­u­fac­tured in Pak­istan.

Fox is col­lect­ing mem­o­ra­bilia and so­lic­it­ing sto­ries re­lated to the 32-year pe­riod that be­gan with the open­ing of Trump Plaza in 1984 and ended with the demise of the Trump Taj Ma­hal in 2016, when Trump no longer owned it. Trump owned up to four casi­nos in At­lantic City from 1984 to 2009: Trump Plaza, Trump’s Cas­tle (later Trump Ma­rina), Trump Taj Ma­hal and Trump World’s Fair.

Fox also leads 75-minute Don­ald

Trump Gam­bling Her­itage tours at 5:30 p.m. Sun­days through his com­pany, Jersey Shore Tours. The tours started as a means of draw­ing tourists to the distressed town after Trump was elected pres­i­dent in 2016.

Although Trump left con­sid­er­able de­bris in his wake, in­clud­ing un­paid con­trac­tors and mul­ti­ple bank­rupt­cies, Fox main­tains his ap­proach is even­handed.

“My role is not to in­flu­ence po­lit­i­cally,” he told Philadel­phia mag­a­zine in 2017. “My role is to tell his­tory.”

But the dis­play sug­gests that Trump’s talk doesn’t match his walk. For ex­am­ple, much of the Trump casino brand mer­chan­dise was made in coun­tries he’s blasted with his rhetoric and poli­cies. His use of for­eign-born casino work­ers dra­mat­i­cally changed At­lantic City’s de­mo­graph­ics in the 1990s, “when Don­ald Trump was the big­gest em­ployer in town,” Fox said.

Fox plans to ap­ply for non­profit sta­tus for the mu­seum pro­ject. He hopes to start with a tem­po­rary site and then move to a per­ma­nent store­front on the board­walk by the 2020 elec­tion.

Trump

Fox

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