Carl Icahn, the new owner, has a plan to restore the Taj Mahal’s former glory.
US.- Carl Icahn has started a process to change the face of Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal, even though he is reportedly unsure whether he’ll spend the US$100 million he promised to revamp the struggling gambling facility.
The first step is to heal the damage that the casino’s reputation suffered after its passing through bankruptcy court and being repeatedly threatened to close over the last year and a half. Icahn rescued the Taj Mahal by keeping it afloat during its Chapter 11 case and pledging to invest US$100 million once he got control.
The new owner has also authorised US$15 million for immediate repairs on 250 new slot machines, reactivating lights and water fountains, reopening a poker room, offering live entertainment every night in its re-done Ego lounge and even fixing leaks in a roof.
However, almost as soon as Icahn took over in March, he wavered on investing the full US$100 million, concerned by the prospect of two new casinos in the northern part of the state. New Jersey voters will decide in November whether to authorise them or not. Icahn decided to wait until the referendum to commit to spending that much money on a casino that could be at an even worse competitive position with new in-state rivals.