DOWNEY - A Downey holding company has purchased an Atlantic City casino for $20 million.Trump Plaza was worth $210 million when it opened in 1984 but has struggled despite its central location on the boardwalk. The Meruelo Group, with its headquarters on Firestone Boulevard just west of Woodruff, said it plans to make the property once again an "elite destination." The property was previously owned by Donald Trump. "There was a period of time when Atlantic City was the hottest place in the world," Trump told the AP. "I got out years ago, and my timing was very good. But the world turns. They're getting a very good location." The Meruelo Group already owns the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno. "Trump Plaza is one of the world's most recognized gaming resort destinations and is an integral part of the Atlantic City landscape," said Alex Meruelo, founder and CEO of the Meruelo Group. "Our company is thrilled to have the opportunity to become the new owners of this property, and we are firmly committed toward establishing it as one of the elite destinations in Atlantic City and on the East Coast." Trump Plaza employs about 900 people. "We're pleased somebody had the foresight to purchase this property; it's right in the center of Atlantic City," Bob McDevitt, president of Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union told the AP. "We have a very god relationship with this company in Reno and we have a contract with them. Because of Trump Entertainment's problems, they really weren't able to run (Trump Plaza) the way it needed to be run. It's been in hibernation." Meruelo Group was in the news two years ago when it nearly purchased the NBA's Atlantic Hawks. The deal never materialized.
********** Published: February 21, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 45