ATLANTIC CITY-It’s been two years in the construction process, and the new Chairman Tower at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel is now set to open this week. At least part of the new tower will open this week.

The total cost of the expansion is in the $255-million range, involving a 40-story, 450-foot tower with 782 rooms. The lower 20 stories is what will open this week, and Trump Entertainment Inc. officials say the rest of the building will be ready to accept guests by the end of the year, pending guest-room fit-out. Company officials have also set a September 18 date as the official ribbon-cutting for the expansion. Construction started on the tower, named in honor of chairman Donald Trump, in mid-summer 2006.

“The new tower is planned to greatly increase our guest room capacity,” says Trump Entertainment COO Mark Juliano, in a statement. “As we have renovated the casino floor and developed more dining and retail options…these rooms will serve as a critical component of our plan to expand our business and attract more customers.”

The eight-sided, reflective glass tower was designed by primary architect Friedmutter Group of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. “With the limited amount of capital that the company has, this was the best use of $255 million,” Juliano continues.

The new tower almost doubles the existing Taj Mahal tower–from 1,250 rooms to past the 2,000-room mark. And more rooms may be on the way, market conditions permitting. The original concept for the Taj Mahal, when it first opened in 1990, was for the eventual development of four guest room towers. A third tower may already be in the works, “when we feel confident that tower number two is doing as well as it should be doing,” Juliano says in a statement.

The opening of the Chairman Tower marks the third major casino/hotel expansion to roll out here this year. The 960-room Waterfront Tower at Harrah’s Resort opened for business early this year, followed by the 800-room Water Club at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, which debuted just in June.


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