New Jersey's first casino, Resorts
Casino in Atlantic City, filed for foreclosure on February 17, 2009.
Donald Kravitz, Getty
DMX's Arizona home is under foreclose as
the rapper is in jail on charges of animal cruelty, drug possession, and
theft. He paid $600,000 for the house in 2003, which was put on the market by
a local bank for $429,000. Police raided the property in August 2008 to find
an illegal dog fighting kennel and graveyard of burned and maimed pitbulls..
DMX will be sentenced on January 30, 2009.
Bryan Bedder, Getty
Judy Vardon, who was featured in a 2004
episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with her husband and blind, autistic
son, may be facing foreclosure because the family cannot afford the mortgage
payments on their home.
Frederick M. Brown, Getty
'Extreme Makeover' House I Sadie
Holmes of Altamonte Springs, Fla., does charity work from her house remodeled
two years ago on ABC's 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.' Early October reports
said Holmes could lose the house over a $29,000 county lien placed on the
property after months of code violations racked up.
Hilda M. Perez, Orlando Sentinel /
'Extreme Makeover' House II The
Harper family home in Clayton County, Ga., which was rebuilt on an episode
'Extreme Makeover' in 2005, went into foreclosure this summer after the family
used the house as collateral for a $450,000 loan and couldn't meet the
Michael Buckner, Getty
American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino is
not facing a bank foreclosure, but may nonetheless lose her $1.3 million
Charlotte home when a company she owes money puts it up for auction in
Damon Dash Foreclosure proceedings
began in August against the hip-hop mogul over unpaid mortgages on two
Manhattan apartments. Eastern Savings Bank says the Roc-A-Fella Records
co-founder and his wife owed more than $7 million on the
Gary Gershoff, Wire
Ed McMahon The former "Tonight Show"
personality made "a confidential deal" in August to sell his Beverly Hills
home after falling behind on payments.
Matt Sayles, AP
Scott Storch The hip-hop producer
went into foreclosure in July on his $10 million Miami mansion, according to
The Palm Beach Post.
He also had his Ferrari Scaglietti and his prized motorcycle, a Bones Bike,
Wilfredo Lee, AP
Vin Baker The former NBA player has
also been stung by the wave of foreclosures sweeping the U.S. Baker's
9,300-square-foot Georgian brick colonial Durham, Conn., home -- which has six
bedrooms, a two-lane bowling alley, basketball court, guest house and pool --
was auctioned for $2.5 million in July.
Resorts Atlantic City's current problem is dire, although it has
been in bankruptcy before -- it was also previously owned by Donald Trump's
group and also Merv Griffin. It is now in a court battle to hold onto its casino
license as a group called Column Financial, which is its main lender, attempts
to take it over in a foreclosure action.
What has happened since Resorts
opened as the first casino outside of Las Vegas in 1978? The casino ushered in
an era of gambling expansion that has still not stopped. It set the tone for the
building of the strip that was to come, and for the last 31 years has stood in
the middle of all the glitz and glamor.
You can blame a lot of things
for the downfall of this quiet giant, not just the sour economy. Resorts, and
the rest of the casinos in Atlantic City, are throw-backs to an era when the
notion of a "strip" seemed to work: All you had to do was stack up a bunch of
casinos next to each other and try to create a destination out of it. But
that never really worked in Atlantic City. As Vegas learned to expand and create
family attractions, lavish shows and concerts and celebrity dining experiences,
Atlantic City did not. While A.C. has the advantage of the beach, Vegas has the
advantage of land mass. It could expand beyond one street and create a kind of
suburban destination that could support a lot more clout as a destination. The
strip in A.C. stayed right along the boardwalk, however, and the rest of the
little town suffered greatly. Walk even 50 feet from the bright lights of the
casino lane and you are in a desolated area full of Cash4Gold shops and peep
The only expansion that went on was to the "marina" area, not an
easy commute from the boardwalk. That area is still building, which signals more
than ever that the traditional strip is dead. People who come to gamble and play
want a kind of suburban experience, which the boardwalk was never able to
provide. Perhaps the big spenders don't want to look out onto the cigarette-butt
littered beach while they dodge panhandlers.
My family is from the area,
and we've gone through every iteration of Atlantic City. My mom went to the
illustrious Atlantic City High School, which sounds like a joke to most people
who don't know the area. I spent a lot of my childhood standing on the beach
watching old hotel after old hotel being blown up for new construction. My
brother worked at Resorts to help put himself through college. I worked at
Bally's Park Place. My grandmother was a bookkeeper for the casino workers
union, and she died holding onto many secrets. Let's just say that when we took
her to see Hoffa, she came out white as
As a long-time resident, I'm not so upset to see the downfall
of these iconic casinos, even Resorts. Atlantic City has always been at its best
as a family beach resort, where local people converged in the nice weather to
enjoy the waves. The casinos, to me, were simply a place where you could stop
for a bathroom break on boardwalk bike rides. I won't be sorry to see them go.
So go home, shoobies. All I need to keep me happy is a few fudge shops
and some skee-ball arcades.