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Missed Opportunities

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – FEBRUARY 17: The former Trump Plaza hotel and casino is imploded on February 17, 2021 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. After 30 years of operation the Trump Plaza was imploded after closing its doors in 2014. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

It’s too bad they didn’t auction off the ability to blow up the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, the last of the Trump properties in that city he helped destroy.

The implosion of what was once the premier gaming destination in Atlantic City came less than a month after its best-known former owner, Donald J. Trump, left the White House after losing re-election and became the first president in history to be impeached twice. He was acquitted on Saturday of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

The tower came down shortly after 9 a.m. amid a huge cloud of dust and an eruption of cheers.

“It’s an end of a not-so-great era,” said Jennifer Owen, 50, who bid $575 to win a front-row seat at a V.I.P. breakfast in an oceanfront pavilion with a direct view of the implosion.

Of course the entire operation was classic Trump.

As he campaigned for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, Mr. Trump frequently boasted about how he outwitted Wall Street lenders and rode the value of his name to riches in Atlantic City.

“The money I took out of there was incredible,” he once told an interviewer.

In fact, he used little of his own money, a New York Times investigation found, and he shifted personal debts to the casinos, leaving the burden of his failures on investors and others who had gambled on his success.

“His tenure here ended horribly,” Mr. Small said in an interview last month.

First opened in 1984, Trump Plaza became Atlantic City’s 10th casino and in its early days offered the promise of high rollers and the allure of marquee events, including heavyweight prize fights where ringside seats fetched $1,500 and attracted celebrities. His casinos also generated tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue.

But after a series of bankruptcy filings, Mr. Trump cut ties with Trump Plaza in 2009, even though his name briefly continued to adorn the building. It closed for good in 2014 and the billionaire investor Carl C. Icahn acquired it out of bankruptcy in 2016.

I guess it’s not a metaphor for what Trump did to the nation. It’s just the exact same thing he did to the nation.

Still, bidding the ability to press the lever to blow it up, man that could have raised a lot of money for some charity.

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