Floating casino once linked to Donald Trump docks in Sarnia

A pair of former floating casinos, including one once owned by one of Donald Trump’s companies, are expected to spend several months docked at Sarnia Harbor

A pair of former floating casinos, including one once owned by one of Donald Trump’s companies, are expected to spend several months docked at Sarnia Harbor.

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The Majestic Star II arrived in Sarnia Sunday, June 2, after being towed from Sturgeon Bay, Wis., where it reportedly had been docked for two years.

The boat’s arrival was expected, said the City of Sarnia’s Steve Henschel.

“It’s going to be docked at our facility for several months,” he said. “And we are expecting its sister ship, the Majestic Star, to arrive in the near future.”

“The most common reason that vessels would dock at the harbor for an extended period. . . is generally either overwintering, which is not the case right now, or repairs,” Henschel said.

The city doesn’t release detailed information about commercial harbor users, he said.

“There’s a great local marine industry that does facilitate repairs, so it’s a great spot for vessels to access that local maritime talent,” Henschel said.

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Previously known as Trump Princess, the Majestic Star II was a floating casino from 1996 to 2021 in Gary, Indiana’s Buffington Harbor, overlooking Lake Michigan.

Launched in 1996, the 88-meter, diesel-powered vessel can carry 2,740 passengers and 250 crew, according to Florida vessel broker Stomar Inc.

“We’re going to build something that this area, and that includes Chicago, that this area has never seen,” Trump told WRTV Indianapolis when the project was announced. “It’s going to be first-class, it’s going to be world-class.”

Trump Princess was operated by Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, along with a nearby Trump hotel, then sold in late 2005 to Majestic Star Holdings which had a casino boat next door. Both closed in 2021.

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Trump boat
Majestic Star II, a former floating casino once named Trump Princess, is docked in Sarnia Harbour. (Paul Morden/The Observer) Photo by Paul Morden /The Observer

Each is said to have had three floors of gaming, a total of 1,900 slot machines, game tables, poker, baccarat and VIP rooms, plus dining facilities.

Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts filed for bankruptcy in 2004.

Majestic Star II is at the harbour’s Government Wharf and warehouse area, next to Seaway Road.

Use of the harbor is up from last year, Henschel said.

“It’s good to see that facility utilized, especially since we’ve made some recent investments,” he said.

Work began last year on a more than $8-million expansion, known as the Cestar Dock, at the harbour’s North Slip as part of an oversize load corridor project in the Sarnia area to help industries and manufacturing companies move large industrial vessels and equipment to and from the harbor through the city.

“It has started welcoming ships,” Henschel said. “There still is a little work to be done on the facility in terms of finishing touches.”

That work is expected to be completed in July, he said.

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