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Hard Rock buys former Trump Taj Mahal

The iconic Hard Rock guitar will take its place on Atlantic City’s famed boardwalk sometime next summer. Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, purchased the former Trump Taj Mahal from investor and business magnate Carl Icahn.

Scheduled to close March 31, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will feature more than 2,000 guest rooms, a 168,000-square-foot casino and a Hard Rock Live that can accommodate more than 5,000 music fans. Guest rooms and most of the public spaces will be renovated to reflect the Hard Rock vibe.

“The Tribe and Hard Rock International are always looking to expand the brand,” said Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and Chairman of Hard Rock International. “This was an opportunity we felt would be beneficial to long-term success. It is a project that continues to expand the Tribe’s global presence.”

Majority ownership of the 17-acre property on prime boardwalk real estate, in one of the largest gaming locations in the U.S., is expected to have a positive impact on the Tribe and the city. Hard Rock International is in partnership with the Morris and Jingoli families of New Jersey, who have a minority share of the business.

“The Hard Rock brand is incredibly iconic and when we open new locations, there’s a tremendous amount of excitement and optimism,” Allen said.

The hotel and casino is expected to create more than 3,000 jobs and add to the revitalization of Atlantic City. Allen said reaction to the sale has been positive throughout the state, including Gov. Chris Christie and state senate president Stephen Sweeney.
“It has been nothing but positive,” Allen said.

President Donald Trump opened the hotel and casino in 1990 but his company filed for bankruptcy in 2014. Icahn purchased it, retained the Trump name and shut its doors for good in October 2016. The Tribe announced the purchase March 1.

Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at