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Can The New Trump Out-Trump The Old Trump (and other stuff from AC)

By Chuckmonster on Wednesday, 5th October 2005 12:29pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 0


With bankruptcy and restructuring firmly behind it, Donald Trump's casino empire has a shot at regaining its former luster.

Doing so will take lots of elbow grease, however, and there will be little room for error. That's because the competition, which is already transforming Atlantic City, N.J., from a tour-bus destination into an entertainment mecca for the young, hip and rich, has a big head start.

Even though Trump, the real estate mogul and reality-television star, has picked seasoned casino executives, not apprentices, to lead Trump Entertainment Resorts (TRMP:Nasdaq - commentary - research - Cramer's Take), they have their work cut out for them.

"Despite years of industry experience, new management is faced with many challenges in turning around the Trump properties that include the stiff competition from Borgata, the expanded Tropicana and Resorts, and other Atlantic City operators upgrading their properties," Kimberly Noland, an analyst at bond research company Gimme Credit, wrote in a research report.

Struggling under some $1.83 billion in debt before its prepackaged Chapter 11 filing last November, the business -- which owns three Atlantic City casinos and a smaller Indiana resort -- found itself without the necessary cash to renovate and expand its casinos, even as rivals were improving old properties and breaking ground on new ones.

One symptom was hotel rooms in "dire" need of renovation, the company's new CEO James Perry acknowledged during the company's second-quarter conference call in August.



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