ATLANTIC CITY — Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. and the proposed buyer of Trump Marina Hotel Casino are trying to salvage a $270 million deal for the aging property.
New York gaming group Coastal Marina LLC is facing a deadline today to complete the purchase of Trump Marina, the weakest performer in the bankrupt casino empire once controlled by Donald Trump.
Coastal Marina wants to team up with Jimmy Buffett to transform Trump Marina into a Margaritaville-themed casino inspired by the singer’s “Margaritaville” hit song from the 1970s.
Trump Entertainment, parent company of Trump Marina, plans to continue negotiations with Coastal today, but would not disclose Wednesday whether the sale deadline might be extended.
“The deadline has not expired yet, so we’re continuing to talk,” Trump spokesman Tom Hickey said.
Mark Juliano, chief executive officer of Trump Entertainment, said a conference call scheduled Wednesday with Coastal representatives had to be canceled because of a fatal shooting near the gaming floor at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort.
“We really haven’t thought about the sale at this hour because of this tragedy,” Juliano said of the shooting, which involved a longtime Taj Mahal employee, who was killed, allegedly by a casino patron.
Coastal Chairman and CEO Richard T. Fields and other company officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
The Trump Marina deal has been shadowed for months by speculation that Coastal was having trouble lining up financing in the tight credit markets. Trump Entertainment lowered the price last fall from $316 million to $270 million and extended the sale deadline from October to May 28 to help Coastal.
Since then, financially troubled Trump Entertainment has entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Donald Trump abruptly resigned as chairman after bondholders spurned his offer to buy the entire company and take it private.
Trump Marina, a throwback to the 1980s, struggles the most among the three Trump casinos. Located in Atlantic City’s Marina District, it is dwarfed by powerhouse neighbors Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and Harrah’s Resort. Coastal’s rebranding of Trump Marina as a Margaritaville casino has been touted as the best way to revive the property.