As of Monday morning, there are only seven Wonders of the World.

And only six operating casinos in Atlantic City.

Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort has shut down its giant escalator, unplugged the slot machines and shuttered the doors.

Such a shame.

No more visits to the Sultan’s Feast Buffet, which I ranked just behind those at Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa and Harrah’s Resort as the best in town.

Closing the Mark G. Etess Arena means the loss of a venue that once hosted its share of big-time fights, not that there’s been any in Atlantic City for a while.

The arena also hosted some quirky sports/entertainment events, such as the pay-per-view “Clash of the Legends” in 1992 that pitted NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar against Julius Erving.

Spice Road won’t be so spicy anymore. If I want an Italian hoagie from the White House Sub Shop, I’ll have to go to the original joint at Arctic and Mississippi avenues.

Though I prefer that location anyway.

The Taj was the site of some special personal memories.

It’s where I met Tiger Woods for the first and only time.

Actually, to say I met him is a stretch. In 1997, a day after he became the youngest Masters champion in history, Woods made an appearance as part-owner of the old All-Star Cafe just off the Boardwalk. I was behind a velvet rope along with 50 other media members and about 500 onlookers. He stopped for about 10 seconds, said how happy he was to be there and walked away.

I took in a few music and comedy concerts at the Etess Arena, starting with a tremendous show about 15 years ago that featured an up-and-coming singer named Alicia Keys.

I also saw Boston and the Charlie Daniels Band. My ears are still ringing from the Boston show. Charlie Daniels, who was barefoot for some reason, produced magic with his fiddle during “Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

In the span of six months, I watched comedians Don Rickles and Ron White. White’s brand of humor is bluer than the ocean, but I still laughed until I cried in spite of myself.

Rickles, who turned 90 in May, was better. Some of the jokes were older than him, but he can still work a crowd.

The arena was also once a major stop for both boxing and mixed martial arts.

Say what you want about Trump — and there’s certainly a lot to say — he was one of the driving forces behind the UFC’s development into the king of MMA.

I was ringside there for some of the best and most controversial boxing events. On Nov. 22, 1997, heavyweight legend George Foreman took on Shannon Briggs. Foreman dominated the fight, but Briggs somehow was awarded a decision. Foreman was so angry and disappointed that he never fought again.

There was also the time when the Taj staged a giveaway related to Trump’s “The Apprentice” TV show. Trump look-a-likes — actually, it was just a few guys dressed in suits with monochromatic ties and carrying briefcases — patrolled the slot machine section and picked people to participate in a contest that featured prizes ranging from $5 to $50,000.

One of the “Donalds” chose me and asked me to accompany him to a ballroom, where contestants were asked to select an envelope.

I was toward the back of a long, crowded line. An elderly woman was behind me. We struck up a conversation and she was there on a bus trip. She was worried she was going to miss her ride home, so I let her go ahead of me.

She won the $50,000. I won $5.

(David Weinberg’s Extra Points column appears Wednesdays and Sundays in The Press.)

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609-272-7201 DWeinberg@Pressofac.com

Twitter @PressACWeinberg

Member of The Press sports staff since 1986, starting my 25th season as The Press Eagles' beat writer. Also cover boxing, MMA, golf, high school sports and everything else.

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