Real estate mogul and television personality Donald Trump said on Thursday that Atlantic City, New Jersey, started to unravel only after he stopped investing in the city’s casino and hotel industry — at least, that’s what “a lot of people” say.
“A lot of people say when I left that’s when it went bad. In one way I’m honored by that statement. But in another way, I feel badly about Atlantic City,” Trump said in a Bloomberg interview.
Atlantic City has been rocked by a series of recent casino closure announcements. Earlier this week, Revel, the most expensive hotel and casino in the city’s history, revealed it would close in September — affecting thousands of workers’ jobs. According to the Associated Press, Revel is just one of four casino closures slated to occur this year in the resort city.
But Trump, who is reportedly suing to get his name off two Atlantic City properties he no longer controls, thinks the city’s decline wasn’t inevitable.
“The politicians made many mistakes in Atlantic City. And one of the big mistakes: They built a convention center in the wrong location. I used to fight them years ago,” he said. “They decided to do it their way. They built a convention center in the absolute wrong location, the worst. And then they didn’t have hotel rooms and it was too small … After that happened, I sort of said to myself, ‘This is ridiculous.'”
Trump nevertheless said he wasn’t especially worried that people would blame him for the closures.
“I think everyone knows that I’ve gone,” he said. “Atlantic City was a place that I really loved.”
Watch the interview below.
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