A week-long legal battle over control of a Trump Organization-run hotel in Panama that included physical altercations has come to a dramatic end. On Monday, armed Panamanian police escorted Trump Organization management out of the establishment, seemingly for good.
A Panamanian government official, who led the police escort at the The Trump Ocean Club International Hotel in Panama City, wouldn’t comment. But Orestes Fintiklis, the charismatic Greek Cypriot investor and majority owner who sued to remove the Trump name from the hotel, had something to say. He claimed a Panamanian court allowed him to take control of the property, the Washington Post reported.
The ejection appears to be lasting — a worker was photographed on Monday pulling the “TRUMP” name off a marble sign in front of the property.
The Panama hotel would be the fourth property that removed Trump’s name since he won the 2016 presidential election. CIM Group signed a deal with the Trump Organization in November to remove its name from the former Trump Soho in New York — now the Dominick — citing poor performance since the election.
Fintiklis played a Greek song on the hotel lobby piano Monday, which he had done throughout the dispute to mark certain victories. Fintiklis, now based in Miami, purchased 202 of the 369 room units last, according to the Post report, and took control of the condo association there.
He moved to pry management of the hotel from the hands of the Trump Organization, which does not own the property but has a contract to manage it until 2031. The hotel opened in 2011.
Fintiklis and his allies claimed that Donald Trump’s name had hurt business, which hurt their investments. He sued in New York and flew to Panama in February to fire Trump Organization staff, but they refused to let him past the lobby.
Trump Organization lawyer Alan Garten called Fintiklis’ actions “pure thuggery” last week, according to the Post. Now President Trump hasn’t been involved with the business that bears his name since the election, but his immediate family is and he is still financially tied to the company. [Washington Post] — Dennis Lynch