New Owner: Trump Marina to Stay Open During Revamp

Fri September 26, 2008 - Northeast Edition
Wayne Parry - ASSOCIATED PRESS

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) The developer who’s buying the Trump Marina Hotel Casino said it will remain open while it’s renovated into “Margaritaville.’’

Richard Fields, chairman of Coastal Development LLC, signed a deal earlier this year to buy the casino from Trump Entertainment Resorts.

He told a gathering of business and labor leaders Sept. 19 he intended to keep the property open to keep casino and hotel workers on the job during the transition.

“I wanted to come here, in person, and tell you we intend to keep the marina, hotel and casino open during the entire rebranding and refurbishment process,’’ Fields said at a meting of the Alliance For Action in Trenton. “In addition to creating hundreds of new construction jobs, we want to keep as many of the hotel staff working as well because when Atlantic City succeeds and New Jersey succeeds, I believe we all succeed.’’

Both sides hope to close the deal by the end of the year.

After the $316 million sale is finalized, Trump Entertainment will have two remaining casinos in Atlantic City: The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.

Coastal Marina will own all of the Atlantic City project, but will engage in a business venture there with Margaritaville Holdings LLC, owned by singer Jimmy Buffett and which includes a string of restaurants and retail shops. The shops feature a Florida Keys theme, and take their name from Buffett’s most famous song.

Part of the deal involves Trump dropping a lawsuit he had been pressing against Fields — a former Trump protege — over a failed attempt to woo the Seminole tribe for a casino project in Florida for Trump.

Fields later did the deal with a different partner, prompting Trump to sue.