Going, going … not so fast.
The auction to push the button demolishing Atlantic City’s former Trump Plaza was canceled but the city’s Boys and Girls Club will still benefit.
The brainchild of Mayor Marty Small looked to use the long-awaited demolition of the shuttered casino to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City.
His goal was $1 million.
While the demolition is still planned, the auction is not happening.
With the top bid at $175,000, Bodnar’s Auction announced Monday that there would be no auction after the owner’s attorney told the city to cease and desist.
Attorneys for IEP AC Plaza LLC, a subsidiary controlled by Icahn Enterprises, sent a letter saying “they were not on board with the situation and would in no way participate or help facilitate, citing safety issues,” Bodnar’s wrote in the announcement.
“The great city of Atlantic City agrees with (owner, Carl Icahn) that public health and safety is the most important thing,” Small told BreakingAC. “That’s the reason we fought to get this building down in the first place.”
Mayor Marty Small will announce the demolition date at a press conference set for 10 a.m. Thursday.
Storms last year sent pieces of the building’s façade onto the Boardwalk.
Despite canceling the auction, Icahn has vowed to donate the money promised in the last highest bid — $175,000 — to the Boys and Girls Club.
Bodnar’s also suggested people still donate to the club.
“I want to be clear, it is extremely important for the great city of Atlantic City to continue a strong working relationship with Mr. Icahn,” Small said.
That continuing relationship will include talking about what can best benefit the city in the spot.
“Announcements like this continue to make it a great day here in the city of Atlantic City,” Small said, invoking his much-used phrase.
Small said he will be making an announcement at 10 a.m. Thursday regarding the date and time of the implosion. It originally was set for Tuesday, but the demolition company has said that timing would not be safe.
His announcement of the auction last month gained national attention with late-night talk show hosts offering their own tips.
“Here’s a fun thing for those who might be looking for a last-minute holiday gift: the mayor of Atlantic City is auctioning off the chance to blow up one of Donald Trump’s former casinos,” Jimmy Kimmel said. “Whoever donates the most money gets to press the button. We should chip in and get this for Hillary Clinton, right?”
“The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon suggested holding President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration in the city and the letting him push the button.
“I’m gonna see if I can bid on this,” comedian Kathleen Madigan said on her Madigan’s Pubcast last month.
“How awesome would that be?” said the comic, whose 30 years performing in Atlantic City included Trump Plaza and Trump Marina.
“When I worked there, he didn’t own either one of these. That was done,” Madigan said.
She then told a story about how her last time performing there she saw it had fallen into disarray.
“The escalators were turned off, it was kind of spooky,” Madigan said, noting that she also snuck into one closed area.
“It looked like a ballroom where the party was being had and time stopped,” she said. “I thought, ‘This is how a casino dies, one little thing at a time.'”