ATLANTIC CITY - A New York-based gaming company that failed to buy Trump Marina Hotel Casino and transform it into a Margaritaville-themed resort appears to have given up on the Atlantic City market.
The state Division of Gaming Enforcement has granted a request by Coastal Marina LLC to withdraw its application for a New Jersey casino license.
The DGE announced the action Monday on its website, but released no further information. Coastal Marina officials could not be reached for comment at their corporate headquarters.
Coastal's pullout from Atlantic City comes just weeks before the Houston-based Landry's Inc. gaming and restaurant conglomerate is scheduled to take over as the new owner of Trump Marina. Landry's has agreed to buy Trump Marina for $38 million and will turn it into a Golden Nugget-themed casino pending regulatory approval by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission on May 25.
Landry's is buying Trump Marina for just a fraction of the price originally offered by Coastal Marina during Atlantic City's pre-recession surge in real estate values. Coastal first offered $316 million in May 2008, but the price was lowered to $270 million later in the year in hopes of salvaging the deal. The sale fell through altogether in 2009.
Coastal went through sporadic negotiations to buy Trump Marina beginning in 2008, but was never able to close the deal. The company had a partnership with musician Jimmy Buffett to convert the casino into a tropical-style gaming resort inspired by the singer-songwriter's 1970s hit "Margaritaville."
The aborted sale was the subject of a breach of contract lawsuit filed in 2009 by Coastal against Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., parent company of Trump Marina. Trump Entertainment said the litigation was settled, but terms were not divulged.
Coastal Marina is an affiliate of Coastal Development LLC, a private New York company that specializes in developing resorts, luxury hotels and casinos. The company was the co-developer of the Hard Rock casinos in Hollywood and Tampa, Fla.
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