NEW YORK (CNNfn) - The Donald is rolling the dice in Atlantic City again, while singing "New York, New York."|
Donald Trump's Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (DJT) announced plans Friday to tear down its World's Fair Casino Hotel on the Atlantic City boardwalk and replace it with a new casino hotel that "will bring to Atlantic City the same 'Trump style' which dominates the skyline of New York City," the casino entertainment company said in a statement.
The 12-acre property on which the World's Fair is located is the largest casino site on the famed boardwalk.
Trump Hotels Chief Executive Nicholas Ribbis said the company is talking with possible joint venture partners to finance the project. Ribbis would not name the possible partners or estimate how much Trump plans to spend on the project, but a person familiar with the plans estimates it would cost about $750 million, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Trump can't go it alone
Industry analysts note that Trump Hotels will need to find a joint venture partner to finance the design and development of the property because Trump's balance sheet is highly leveraged.
"The financing is questionable, but it's an interesting idea because Trump properties in Atlantic City were projects taken over by previous owners," said Robin Farley, an analyst with Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown.
"Whatever happens, it's a positive to close down a money-losing operation," she said about the World's Fair, which will be closed down in the fall.
Trump Hotels' existing Atlantic City properties include The Trump Marina, developed by Hilton Hotels, Trump Taj Mahal, planned by Resorts International, and Trump Plaza, developed as a joint venture with Holiday Corp.
Trump Hotels expects to move World's Fair employees to other Trump operations in Atlantic City.
"Clearing away the World's Fair will give us the flexibility to develop the kind of world-class signature property that has made the Trump Organization the dominant developer in New York," Trump said in a statement.
The company promised that the new property would "be one of the largest and most spectacular hotel casinos anywhere in the world."
Shares of Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts were down ½ at 6-1/8, off a 52-week high of 8-7/16 and well above its 52-week low of 2-3/4.
-- from staff and wire reports