Taj best in AC?

Among Trump properties, it is–it’s about three times the casino as the Marina and Plaza. From the AC Press:

Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino or Trump Marina Hotel Casino, or both, probably would be demolished and redeveloped if the proposed sale of Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. is completed, they say.

“Most comments heard from other (casino) operators about the Plaza and the Marina are that they are attractive redevelopment opportunities. In other words, they are likely tear-downs and rebuilds, analyst Adam Steinberg of Morgan Joseph & Co. Inc. wrote in a note to investors.

Analysts Joel H. Simkins of Prudential Equity Group and George L. Smith III of Davenport & Co. also said in investment notes that the aging Plaza and Marina might be razed to make room for new casinos by a new owner.

The flagship Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, by far the most prized casino in the portfolio, is the only Trump property sure to remain standing, analysts believe. The Taj Mahal’s strategic location, brand appeal and excess land for expansion all but ensure that the Trump moniker will loom large over the gaming resort — even if a new owner is calling the shots.

Trump Entertainment, the public company that operates the three casinos, announced Thursday evening in a brief statement that it has received preliminary offers from potential buyers.

“There can be no assurance that any of these indications of interest will result in a sale of the company or any other transactions, Trump Entertainment cautioned.

Trump did not disclose the names of potential suitors or a possible sale price. Speculation has focused on private equity companies or real estate firms looking to get in on the casino game. Casino operators Ameristar Casinos Inc., Penn National Gaming Inc., Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., Boyd Gaming Corp. and Las Vegas gaming mogul Steve Wynn also have been mentioned as possibilities.

Theoretically, one buyer could swoop in and acquire the entire company and then break it up into pieces. In March, Simkins set a price range for each Trump casino based on projected gross operating profits for 2008. The “most likely value for the Taj Mahal is $1.3 billion. Trump Marina might command $470.5 million and Trump Plaza’s sale price could be around $440.7 million, according to Simkins’ estimates.
If Trump sells out, Taj likely to stand

You know, I haven’t seen anything happen on the former Playboy site, so maybe someone would be interested in buying the Plaza and that site and creating a large mixed-use project with Boardwalk (nee Convention) Hall as the centerpiece.

Something could definitely be done with the Marina, particularly if the adjacent site that was once going to be the home of the MGM Grand Atlantic City is finally developed. It’s good to hear that the Taj will be around for a while, though. Next time I’m in town I’m going to stop by and take a look at the construction and maybe drop off some tuna for the cats for old time’s sake.

That being said, I don’t think that the Taj is going to make this honor–“least likely to be demolished of Trump’s struggling Atlantic City casinos”–a big part of its marketing any time soon.

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