According to health department records and apparently unsatisfied customers, up until very recently the Trump Taj Mahal casino and hotel in Atlantic City was crawling with mice, roaches, and bed bugs.
The company Elder Pest Control removed 51 mouse corpses from traps in the hotel and casino in March 2015, and 38 during the first half of April, according to exterminator’s reports submitted to the Atlantic City Health Department and obtained by Gawker. A Health Department memo from May 2015 describes the experience of one Taj Mahal visitor, who claims to have seen numerous mice in the casino’s VIP club, and coming out of the hotel’s Chinese restaurant. The mice apparently approached the guest’s service dog. “He said they are very brave,” the memo reads.
The infestation got so bad that, as of last July, the Atlantic City Health Department required the Trump Taj Mahal to submit biweekly reports. “Extermination is on-going and attempts to eradicate rodents / stopping entry in building are to be increased,” a July 17 departmental memo reads. “Extermination reports are to be forwarded to this office every 2 weeks to monitor improvement.” That month, exterminators reported removing 103 mice from traps at the Trump Taj Mahal; in the first two weeks of August, they removed 36 mice.
Although his name is still on the front of the building, Donald Trump no longer owns the Taj Mahal casino. It opened twenty-five years ago, went bankrupt a year later, relaunched, went bankrupt again, and in February of this year, was bought by billionaire Carl Icahn. An inspector with the Atlantic City Health Department, Paulette Simonetti, confirmed the authenticity of the documents provided to Gawker, but, added that complaints at the Trump Taj Mahal are “substantially decreased” under the new ownership.
“Employees were constantly leaving doors open, allowing the rodents access from the boardwalk,” Simonetti said. Those doors are now kept locked at all times. “I think it was a smoking area.” Great news!
In less good news, mice aren’t the only pests to have found a home at the Taj Mahal. Four hotel suites were treated for bed bugs in March and the first two weeks of April last year; a dozen suites were treaded in July and the first two weeks of August. “This place should be called Trump’s Dump,” remarks a Yelp review from earlier this month. “Can you say BED BUGS?”
“Disgusting,” declares another, from April. “Knew prior to going that it was a run down casino but wasn’t expeceting [sic.] this. The rooms are like a scene out of the shining.....and yes...they have bed bugs. Since I was only there because of a business function, I ran like a bat outa hell when i saw them and went to the borgata.”
The Trump Taj Mahal has 51 anonymous reports dating back to 2010 on bedbugregistry.com. The most recent is from January. The Borgata, meanwhile, has 31. A handful of rooms at the hotel were found to be clear of mice and bed bugs, the exterminator’s reports showed, but hosted roaches instead.
Currently, about 1,000 workers in the casino’s food, beverage, and housekeeping departments are on strike. They haven’t had health insurance for almost two years. “The money I took out of there was incredible,” Trump has said of Atlantic City. Neither the Trump campaign nor Trump Taj Mahal responded to requests for comment.
Fortunately, not every complaint about conditions at the casino was valid: “Smell coming from ceiling is not a dead mouse,” an exterminator’s report from April 9, 2015 concludes. “Smells like wet insulation or ceiling tiles.”