Reviews

“Veteran observers of the Atlantic City casino industry well remember the epic battle between entrenched mogul Donald Trump and Las Vegas czar Steve Wynn starting in the mid-1990s, when Wynn decided he wanted to return to Atlantic City and build the biggest casino of all there.

The battle raged until 1999-2000, and the outcome proved to be unexpected across the board. Many have no doubt said to themselves, ‘too bad someone didn’t write a definitive book about that battle.’

Now, someone finally has, called The War at the Shore – and it’s someone who was right in the middle of it all, someone with a high-profile book launch coming Monday night at a midtown gala bash hosted by Giants co-owner Steve Tisch.”


In the 1990′s, powerhouses Donald Trump and Steve Wynn found themselves in a property war as they fiercely fought over prime real estate in Atlantic City.  Bronson’s memoir, The War at the Shore, interweaves the tycoons’ battle with his own personal journey from a Hartford housing project to mega-successful real estate developer embroiled in the center of the square off.  Marked by casinos, boardrooms, and double-dealings, Bronson’s account is a vivid portrayal of Atlantic City’s revitalization.

LA Confidential Magazine


“Two powerful personalities clash in this first-hand account of Steve Wynn’s bid to open a new casino on Donald Trump’s turf.

In the mid- to late-1990s, Atlantic City, N.J., was Donald Trump’s town; as the man behind the Trump Plaza, the Trump Castle and the Trump Taj Mahal, the Donald held a huge stake in the city—one that he wasn’t open to sharing with others. So when world-famous gaming magnate Steve Wynn, whose Mirage Resorts had at one time owned and operated the Golden Nugget Atlantic City, sent right-hand man, and our narrator, “Skip” Bronson to town to begin the process of  turning an undeveloped former landfill into a glittering world-class casino and resort, Trump moved into overdrive to stop them. Still smarting from a recent failed attempt to set up shop in Connecticut, Bronson and his team quickly decided that transportation would be key to the casino’s success, so they came up with the idea of the Brigantine Connector—a tunnel that would funnel gamers from the interstate under some of the seedier sections of town and directly to the front door of Wynn’s proposed casino. Trump realized that without the tunnel, Wynn’s project probably wouldn’t take off, so through a mix of lawsuits, outrageous public statements and bombs lobbed via the local press, Trump and his allies tried their best to stop construction. As a first-hand participant in the struggle between these two powerful men, the author presents a full account of the conflict and a detailed behind-the-scenes view of the incredible amount of bureaucratic squabbling, glad-handing and negotiation that goes on before a development of this scale can take place, not to mention the many places such a project can suddenly go flying off the tracks. Bronson, whose writing is clear and warm, packs the story with many anecdotes from his long career as a developer. While the digressions are usually funny, they can occasionally detract from the main narrative, but overall they add to the book’s welcoming, conversational tone.

An engaging insider’s account of the down-and-dirty machinations that go into high-stakes real estate development.”

Kirkus Reviews


Life After CityPlace: Richard Bronson And High Stakes Casino Development (Hartford Courant, April 30, 2012)

“In 1991, Richard “Skip” Bronson and Allan Hutensky ended a 12-year real estate partnership that had produced dozens of shopping centers and CityPlace I in downtown Hartford, Connecticut’s tallest office tower and the team’s signature development.

In a new book, due out in June, Bronson chronicles — often irreverently — his career in the years that followed. Bronson reflects back on failed attempts to establish casinos in Hartford and Bridgeport with gambling mogul Steve Wynn, but only as a springboard to a higher stakes roll of the dice: Wynn’s Mirage Resorts battle with Donald Trump to build a new luxury resort casino in Atlantic City.”


“My whole life has been filled with larger-than-life characters, in boardrooms and on the gridiron.  With Trump and Wynn, Skip Bronson nails the drama and muscle of a Super Bowl Sunday.  This book is a manual of strategy and tactics, smeared with sweat and blood. I loved it.”

Steve Tisch, film producer and Chairman of the New York Giants


“What an amazing backstage look into the world of casinos, moguls and politics.  The Trump vs. Wynn struggle over Atlantic City is fascinating and Skip Bronson tells it in a unique way.”

Peter Morton, Chairman & Founder Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Hard Rock Cafes


“The War at the Shore is not only a crash course in casino development, it’s a primer to getting things done as a business person—through creative problem solving, fierce tenacity, and simple hard work. This is a great story of titans, power and ego, and that never goes out of style.”

Millard “Mickey” Drexler, Chairman and CEO, J. Crew Group