June 14, 2012
Celebrating The War at the Shore
Last Monday evening, I went to a book party at the ballroom at the Loews Regency Hotel in Manhattan to celebrate the publication of Richard “Skip” Bronson’s new book, The War at the Shore. Skip and I have been friends for many years and I was very pleased to receive this invitation because the major players in this war were also invited to the party. This book is the story of when Skip was sent to Atlantic City, New Jersey in the late 1990s by gaming magnate Steve Wynn, to turn an undeveloped landfill into a flashy world-class casino and resort. The problem was that, at that time, Atlantic City was ruled by Donald Trump, who didn’t take kindly to these advances. A full-scale battle ensued, involving media and local politicians. Fortunately, the tempers of these parties have cooled and Skip, Wynn, and Trump have become friends. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a camera that night and I took these photos with my Blackberry, which doesn’t have a flash. I apologize for the graininess.
1 Here I am with Donald and Melania Trump, and Jason Binn - the chairman and founder of Niche Media. We all gathered to celebrate the publication of Richard 'Skip' Bronson's, 'The War at the Shore.'
2 In The War at the Shore, Skip Bronson portrays the story of the intrigue, corruption, and drama that gripped Atlantic City in the 1990s. The book tells of mobsters, corrupt politicians, and larger than life characters - Donald Trump and Steve Wynn, in particular.
3 This is Skip Bronson, with whom I have been friends for many years. Skip is now chairman and founder of US Digital Gaming. Skip is married to Edie Baskin, the famed Saturday Night Live photographer.
4 In the late 1990s, Skip was Steve Wynn's point man in Atlantic City as Wynn's Mirage tried to develop an abandoned site, a land-fill, which is now known as the Marina District.
5 This is Steve Wynn, the business magnate who is largely responsible for turning the Las Vegas Strip into what is is today.
6 In the late 1990s, when Steve Wynn wanted to expand to Atlantic City, Donald Trump was the primary casino owner there.
7 Trump wasn't fond of the idea of Wynn moving into his sandbox, so to speak.
8 Apparently, there was bad blood to start with, which served as an accelerant, in what became a very vicious battle that got personal and nasty.
9 Donna Karan, Lynne Silver, Edie Baskin Bronson (wearing red), Skip Bronson, and Andrea Wynn - The new Mirage Resort in Atlantic City would require building a tunnel, connecting it to the Atlantic City Expressway.
10 Donna Karan (in brown) - The major controversy of the tunnel project was that it would cut through a middle-class neighborhood.
11 Skip Bronson and Andrea Wynn - Realizing that Wynn's planned casino would most likely fail without the tunnel, later named the Atlantic City-Brigantine Connector, Trump fought hard and nasty to prevent its construction.
12 Hosts Debbie and Alan Grubman, and Lucy and Joseph Kazickas - In the late 1990s, before extensive use of social media, the battle was played out through the media sources of the day and with plenty of involvement of local politicians.
13 After all was said and done, Wynn's plans for Mirage were cancelled and MGM acquired and developed the site, which is now the Borgata Hotel, Casino, and Spa.
14 Skip Bronson and Alan Grubman - And, in the end, Wynn and Trump set aside their differences and are now friends. According to Skip, 'One of the great qualities Steve and Donald share: when they're in a war they will fight like you've never seen. But when it's over it's over.'