Trump's Doral Resort Suffering Under the Dictator's Presidency; Net Income Drops 69 Percent in Two Years

Photo: Joe Raedle (Getty Images)

This very well could be one of those Trump tax schemes in which he grossly undervalues the property and the income on his resort in order to avoid paying taxes, but one of the crown jewels in Trump’s property portfolio is grossly underperforming.

According to a scathing Washington Post report, the Trump National Doral resort in Miami has suffered a 69 percent loss in net operating income over the last two years.

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“They are severely underperforming,” tax consultant Jessica Vachiratevanurak told a Miami-Dade County official in a bid to lower the property’s tax bill, the Post reports. The reason, she said: “There is some negative connotation that is associated with the brand.”

Trump’s name is trash to those who oppose his racist and xenophobic beliefs couched in political leanings. As such, many people have steered clear of anything associated with the Trump name. Even those who privately believe in Trump’s draconian style of presidenting don’t want to be publicly associated with his brand, so they’ve also avoided visiting Trump properties. Because of that, many of Trump’s buildings are suffering.

From the Post:

Trump has entwined his office with his private company, drawing scrutiny from congressional Democrats interested in whether his company is benefiting from that relationship. At the same time, revenue has declined at some properties dependent on blue-state customers and politics-shy national brands.

The troubles at Trump Doral — detailed here for the first time, based on documents and video obtained under Florida’s public-records law — suggest the Trump Organization’s problems are bigger than previously known. This is also the first known case in which a Trump Organization representative has publicly acknowledged the president’s name has hurt business.

The decline at Doral is especially significant because the resort had seemed better insulated from political backlash than other Trump properties, protected by its place in golf’s history, by its recent renovations, and by its location in a booming state that Trump won in 2016.

It wasn’t.

Documents obtained by the Post found that Trump’s resort had grossly underperformed expectations; once a destination for vacationers, the Doral wasn’t even competing with resorts in the area.

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Eric Trump—the president’s son who runs the day-to-day business—of course denied that the brand is suffering under his father’s Mad King presidency.

“This story is completely senseless,” he said in a statement to the Post. “Our iconic properties are the best in the world and our portfolio is unrivaled by anyone.”

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The Trump Organization blamed the decline on everything but the Trump name being toxic AF.

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“The company cited fears of the Zika virus in 2016, and hurricanes in 2016 and 2017, for driving tourists away from South Florida,” the Post reports. The newspaper also noted that during those same years, area resorts still outperformed the Doral despite dealing with the same Zika virus scare and possibilities of hurricanes.

Also from the Post:

What began with the Macy’s department store chain dropping Trump-branded neckties during the campaign and New York City building owners stripping his name from their properties has led to a shrinking of Trump’s customer base among a wide swath of businesses, charities, wealthy travelers and golfers to a more narrow pool of clients who are aligned with his politics.

“Being president has cost me a fortune — a tremendous fortune like you’ve never seen before,” Trump told reporters last year, rejecting the idea that he was using the presidency to enrich himself. Trump still owns his business, though he says he has given up day-to-day control.

By the end of 2018, the Trump hotel chain had lost three locations as building owners cut ties with the Trump company. The company’s plans for dozens of new low-cost hotels — aimed at turning Trump voters into Trump customers — had fizzled.

Revenue fell at other Trump hotels, in Chicago and New York, after Trump entered the presidential race, according to internal documents.

In a statement about its Chicago property, the Trump Organization said the name was not the reason. “It’s sad to say, but the perceived threat of gun violence has harmed visitation to the destination,” the statement said.

But the company’s own figures — submitted to Cook County, Ill., for tax purposes, and also given to Trump’s investors — show Trump’s competitors in Chicago have not experienced the same decline. The company said its New York hotel rebounded last year, charging record-high room rates.

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Sounds as if the Trump family is running their business the same way Trump is running the country, which is to continue to act as if the dumpster fire is just fine and the smell wafting through the air is just the way they intended it.

Last year, Eric Trump didn’t just claim that the Doral was succeeding, he bragged that it was a scorching hot success.

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“The Doral is on fire,” he told a reporter in June, the Post reports.

Yes, Eric, the Doral is on fire. You know what else is on fire? Half of King’s Landing because that’s what happens when the elected leader runs the country as if he’s king.

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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.