I’ve been asked what I think about the Taj closing. If you didn’t know, I worked there for about 3 years (1994/95, 1998, 2000) so this one literally hit close to home for me. I had the chance to write about it for the Washington Post’s Post Everything, so I did:
Behind the campaign-related headlines, though, the end of the Taj — a tragedy to its nearly 3,000 employees and an economic drag on an already struggling resort town — underscores the mistakes that too many, including Trump, have made in Atlantic City. Even when the city was the hottest gambling destination in the world, it never built a sustainable path from its past to a prosperous future. Trying to base your economy on gambling alone, it turns out, is a lot like gambling itself: The odds, long term, are….
I wrote this partially in response to a lot of media inquiries I’ve gotten. I’ve spoken to several reporters who wanted to know more about the Taj, but they usually were just interested in me saying negative things about Trump and the whole story. Several of them started from the idea that Trump was completely inept and hired inept people from the start. Mentioning that Dennis Gomes–president of the Taj when I started there–is as highly respected as anyone in the business didn’t fit that narrative. And that’s just one of many.
As I suggest, there’s a whole lot more blame to go around. I feel like I could have written a lot more on this, but as always there are space constraints.
On a personal note, I will say that my co-workers at the Taj helped me through some very difficult times, and I’m inestimably proud to have been part of that team.