Before Thursday's deadline for the sale of Trump Marina came and went, the possibility that the plan to turn the beleagured hotel-casino complex into a Margaritaville-themed adult playground would succeed appeared remote at best. But words from the head of the Marina's potential buyer suggest a reason to be optimistic.
"I remain fully committed to our Margaritaville concept and very bullish on the long-term outlook for Atlantic City," said Richard Fields, chairman of New York-based Coastal Marina LLC in a statement released to the media.
If Fields means it, this is great news. Given the format and apparent success of the Mararitaville brand (owned by singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett), the marriage between Margaritaville--which celebrates the kind of hedonsim that is a gambling destination's lifeblood--and what is arguably Atlantic City's most downtrodded--but potential-filled-- property could provide the kind of jump start the city desperately needs.
Of course, it appears the main (only?) reason the deal--which was originally slated to happen last fall--has so far fallen through is that Coastal Marina didn't have the financing ($270 million) in place because of the meltdown of the credit markets. Which means whether or not Fields' upbeat words are followed by any action depends on how long it takes commercial lenders to reopen the money pipelines.