ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino is shutting down its beach bar permanently, saying it can't compete against nonunion beach bars at two other Atlantic City casinos.
The casino's parent company, Trump Entertainment Resorts, said the bar's last day will be Sept. 16.
Spokesman Brian Cahill said the company can't compete with cocktail service on the beach for guests of the newly opened Revel, as well as the Margaritaville beach bar coming in May at Resorts Casino Hotel, which he also expects to be nonunion.
"We would love to continue operating the Beach Bar; it's just economics," Cahill said. "Revel opened their nonunion beach operations late this year, but they will be open all season next summer.
"Margaritaville, also nonunion, will be open Memorial Day weekend," he said. "The truth is that union wages and severance funds do not allow us to compete against the nonunion beach bars like Revel and Margaritaville."
Bob McDevitt, president of Local 54 of the Unite-HERE casino service workers union, declined to comment other than to say he expects the Landshark Bar and Grill component of Margaritaville, which will be located on the sand east of the Boardwalk, to be nonunion. That bar and grill will be a leased operation and not part of the casino's union contract, he said.
Courtney Birmingham, a spokeswoman for Resorts, said a decision has not yet been made as to whether Margaritaville will be staffed by unionized workers. The Jimmy Buffet-themed attraction is scheduled to open as part of a $35 million expansion of the casino, and a management deal that will see the Mohegan Indian tribe run the casino-hotel's day-to-day operations.
Trump Plaza has operated its beach bar for 10 years. The 65 employees who work there will not be offered new positions elsewhere in the company.
Bally's and The Atlantic Club also operate beach bars staffed with unionized workers.
Revel serves cocktails on the beach and plans to open HQ Beach Club at Revel next May. Revel Entertainment spokeswoman Maureen Siman declined to comment on Trump's plan to close its beach bar.
On its last day of operations, the Trump beach bar will let customers take home small pieces of the floor as souvenirs. Beach umbrellas and neon bar signs also will be given away in contests.
Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.