ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Donald Trump won’t rest until his name is off every last vestige of the Atlantic City casino empire he once owned.
The owners of the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort on Friday appealed a court order in favour of Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, in a lawsuit seeking to strip their name from the casino.
Trump Entertainment Resorts — which the real estate mogul and reality TV star no longer runs — filed the appeal in U.S. District Court in Delaware of a Feb. 20 ruling enabling the Trumps to move forward with their lawsuit in state court.
The Trumps say Trump Entertainment allowed its two Atlantic City casinos to fall into disrepair. That, the Trumps say, damages their personal brand.
The company has stripped the Trump name from most of Trump Plaza, which closed on Sept. 16, but is fighting to keep using it at the Taj Mahal, its lone remaining casino.
In filing their lawsuit last August, the Trumps wrote, “The Trump name … has become synonymous with the highest levels of quality, luxury, prestige and success.”
Donald Trump does not run or control Trump Entertainment Resorts, which was formed after the Trump casino empire emerged from the second of its three bankruptcies. But he retains a 10 per cent stake in it.
He is particularly sensitive to any negative associations of his name with Atlantic City. He has repeatedly said he has had no involvement for at least six years with the casinos that bear his name.
In response to the lawsuit, Trump Entertainment began stripping large neon letters spelling out “Trump” on the exterior of Trump Plaza in October. But the result might not be what Donald Trump had in mind: the word is still outlined in dirt or rust in many spots on the former casino facade.
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is acquiring Trump Entertainment by swapping its debt that he owns in return for ownership of the company. Icahn joined Trump Entertainment Resorts in the appeal on Friday.
Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC