By Michael Aron
Chief Political Correspondent
Outside it looks like the same old Taj without one name, but today it was having a liquidation sale. Hundreds of people lined up this morning to see what they might salvage.
“Thank you for coming to the sale today. The first thing I want to tell you today is this is the first day of a 60 day sale. We’re here seven days a week selling everyday,” said Don Hayes, president of National Content Liquidators.
Everything must go. King and queen size beds for $99, tables and chairs, urns, linens. TVs were going for $49.
Need an iron for 8 dollars? There are plenty.
When Donald Trump opened the Taj Mahal in 1990, he declared it the Eighth Wonder of the World. Little did he know that 27 years later it would be in liquidation and he would be on the world stage.
“Basically what we have here is 1,250 guest rooms of hotel furniture and suites, pool and patio furniture, poker room furniture, restaurant tables and chairs, health club equipment and large chandeliers. Nothing here with the Trump name on it,” Hayes said.
Bargain hunters were having a field day.
“Yeah, it’s from Taj Mahal. How can you not want to buy it? You have to have something left, right? We know it’s from Trump. It’s good,” said Lisa John from Edison.
This overstuffed chair was going for $125.
I found something I liked — a ceramic lamp for $25. Maybe when we get done our work I’ll grab it and buy it.
Besides the ground floor, the liquidators opened up floors 46 through 50 today. Up on the 50th floor, people poured through the rooms and suites.
We were told a man was showering in one of the suites, and sure enough…
What are you doing we asked. “I’m taking a shower. It’s a liquidation sale, they’re giving us a sample so I wanted to see how the shower was. Maybe I could get a free shower,” said Dave Cipollini.
He had his underwear on.
So we got down from the 50th floor and my lamp was gone. I feel cheated somehow. I’ll have to find something else.
Donald Trump lost control of the Taj Mahal in 2004. Billionaire Carl Icahn eventually took it over, then sold it this year to Hard Rock International.
That history seemed less interesting today than the prices on the 20,000 to 30,000 items for sale.
Maryann Orcutt bought a lamp for her spare bedroom. “I’m happy,” she said. “I’m never going to get a lamp for $12.”
“You’re never going to see this stuff again. This hotel is going to be completely changed eventually and it’s rare,”Andrew Ganzelli said.
We were told nothing with the name Trump on it was being sold. Carolyn Ganzelli said she saw the owner of the Hard Rock and he said turn it around the other way so nobody can see it.
Even the guy in the shower bought something.
“After my shower I got a nice camel lamp. All in all, a good day. I got clean and I got light, and then the lord said, let there be light,” Cipollini said.
While hundreds of opportunists passed through the check out, hundreds more waited in line outside to get in.
I finally found what I wanted — a shoe shine stand for the next stage of my life and career, but somebody’s going to have to help me cart it away.