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Now's Your Chance To Blow Up A Trump Building

Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey, after it closed.

The winner of a charity auction in Atlantic City, New Jersey, will score an unusual prize in January: the chance to push the button that will blow up what is left of the former Trump Plaza casino.

The city has been demolishing the abandoned casino since earlier this year, with the remainder to be dynamited on Jan. 29, at the push of a button. 

“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,” Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small told the Associated Press. “I wanted to use the demolition of this place to raise money for charity.”

The goal in auctioning off a chance to destroy the Trump Plaza residue is to raise at least $1M to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City. The organization facilitates after-school and summer recreation programs for local children and teens, as well as offers career training and other programs.  

New Brunswick, New Jersey-based Bodnar’s Auction Sales, an auction specialist, has been tasked by the club to take bids through Jan. 19. Then the top offers will be made public and a live auction will determine the final winner, who will be allowed to push the button 10 days later.

"This will be done remotely and can be done anywhere in the world, as well as close to the Plaza as we can safely get you there!" the auctioneer told NPR.

In 1984, Trump, then a commercial real estate developer, opened the casino. The Great Recession dealt a major blow to its viability, and in 2009 the casino's parent company, Trump Entertainment Resorts, filed for bankruptcy. By then, Trump himself only had a small stake in Trump Entertainment Resorts, and the casino limped along until 2014, when it closed for good as part of another bankruptcy.

The shuttered casino has been falling apart since then for want of maintenance. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn now owns the property, and earlier this year filed plans with the city to raze the structure.