Friday, June 23, 2017

The "Winter White House" Is Losing Business

Good thing they doubled the price of membership. That should help make up the difference.
The Trump presidency has, by some measures, been good for the Trump Organization. Foreign governments, special interest groups and tourists have flocked to the Trump International Hotel in Washington since his election. Mar-a-Lago doubled its initiation fee to $200,000 after the election. Recent financial disclosures seemed to show that Mar-a-Lago’s overall revenue and profits are climbing.

But a Washington Post review reveals an unforeseen trend emerging in Trump’s business during his presidency — that he is losing banquet customers from his cherished Mar-a-Lago Club.

In recent weeks, seven nonprofits — all repeat customers of the president’s club — have announced their decisions to avoid Mar-a-Lago next winter, during the social season when Palm Beach life revolves around lavish parties for charity.


“It was not a decision based on politics,” Brock said. “The decision was based on the disruption on getting into Mar-a-Lago, because of all the security and hassle.”


In late 2015, even as he was running for president, Trump savored his success in taking galas from his chief rival for big Palm Beach events.

The Breakers, Trump told The Post, “gets the leftovers.”

Not anymore

This year, as Palm Beach charities have reserved venues for next season, Trump’s club has lost 13 separate events that were held at the club last year. Among the seven charities that departed, two held multiple events.


Most of the events that left Mar-a-Lago went to The Breakers.


In a social sense, charity events make Mar-a-Lago — and Trump himself — the center of Palm Beach life for a night. Trump loved to play that role, Palm Beach veterans say, describing how he table-hopped, gave toasts and posed for photos with anyone wanting one.


That decline in banquet revenue echoes reports from two other Trump properties, both in New York City: the Trump SoHo hotel and a golf course in the Bronx, both of which reported dips in conference business.
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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