Americas

Auction for Chance to Implode Trump Plaza Casino Is Canceled

The auction was promoting a “once in a lifetime” experience in Atlantic City, N.J., that would raise money for a youth charity: the right to push a button to implode the vacant Trump Plaza hotel and casino.

But the auction, which had drawn a high bid of $175,000, was canceled after objection from the building’s owner, a subsidiary controlled by a company run by Carl C. Icahn, a billionaire investor who has supported President Trump, the auction house overseeing the bidding announced on Tuesday.

The proceeds would have gone to the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City.

The auction house, Bodnar’s Auction, said in a notice on its website on Tuesday that the Icahn subsidiary “was not on board with the situation and would in no way participate or help facilitate, citing safety issues.”

A spokesman for Icahn Enterprises declined to answer questions about the specific concerns. He said that one of Mr. Icahn’s foundations would donate $175,000 to the Boys & Girls Club “to replace the auction proceeds that they would have purportedly received.”

But Stephanie Koch, the chief executive of the club, said on Tuesday morning that she had not received any notice about a donation.

“There has not been any communication with Icahn at this point,” she said.

The city did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday morning.

The property opened as Harrah’s at Trump Plaza in 1984. In the 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Trump had become a prominent figure in Atlantic City, opening casinos that employed thousands of people and brought in hefty gambling revenues.

But the Trump Plaza hotel and casino closed down in 2014 as Mr. Trump’s casino businesses foundered and the building had fallen into disrepair.

The mayor of Atlantic City, Marty Small, announced the plan to demolish the building and raise money for the Boys & Girls Club in December. A precise date for the demolition has not been set.

“Some of Atlantic City’s iconic moments happened there, but on his way out, Donald Trump openly mocked Atlantic City, saying he made a lot of money and then got out,” Mr. Small, a Democrat, said in December, according to The Associated Press. “I wanted to use the demolition of this place to raise money for charity.”

But, according to Bodnar’s, the subsidiary, IEP AC Plaza L.L.C., objected to the plan.

Joseph Bodnar, the owner of Bodner’s Auction, said the mayor’s office first proposed the plan, after which he had the “green light to go ahead and move forward.” Bidding opened three weeks ago and was set to close on Tuesday afternoon.

But days after the sale went live, lawyers for the Icahn subsidiary objected. Mr. Bodnar said he had been exchanging messages with the lawyers for weeks “trying to come to some kind of resolution.”

He said he did not know how the plan came together without the support of the Icahn subsidiary.

He said he expected to move forward with a new plan to auction off the chance to witness the casino’s implosion, but details were not immediately available.

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