Donald Trump sues to have his name removed from the doomed Trump Plaza


Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City N.J. (Wayne Parry/AP)

The news that Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino will close next month was particularly unpleasant for the more than 1,000 people employed there. Also unhappy with the news: The curious Twitter presence whose name adorns the hotel.

Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit asking that his name be removed from it and the nearby Trump Taj Mahal. While Trump does not run Trump Entertainment Resorts, which owns the Trump-branded casinos in Atlantic City, he does retain a 10 percent stake in the company, according to the Associated Press.

His lawsuit, filed in Atlantic County, claims that the company is breaching the licensing agreement that keeps his names on the buildings, because that deal requires that the casinos be managed under “high standards of quality and luxury.” (He also expressed concern that the closure of the casino could “further harm the Trump name and brand.”)

It seems only fitting that the end of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino would be marked with lawsuits involving the name on the building. The casino opened in May 1984 as Harrah’s at Trump Plaza (the name was changed that year to Trump Casino Hotel), becoming the source of quite a bit of acrimony between Trump and Harrah’s, the hotel and casino group that partnered with Trump for the venue.

This dispute eventually sparked a court suit that involved, yes, the use of Trump’s name. In an affidavit at the time, Trump talked about how he “created the value that exists in my name.” The president of Harrah’s said in an affidavit that Trump relied on “bluster, threats, intemperance and unsupported and unsupportable falsehoods.” (Trump eventually bought out Harrah’s stake in the place.)

In any event, the closure of Trump Plaza is expected on or around Sept. 16, though Trump Entertainment Resorts said last month that it is “reviewing alternatives” for the property. The casino was nearly sold to a company in California last year, but investor Carl Icahn said he wouldn’t allow the deal to go forward because he felt the price was too low.

This closure is the latest hit for Atlantic City, a onetime gambling mecca going through a considerable decline.

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.

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