President Trump touted South Florida’s Trump National Doral Miami in federal disclosures as the Trump Organization’s most profitable resort.
But the resort’s finances paint a different story, according to a report by the Washington Post. Overall revenue at the golf resort is down since 2015 and net operating income declined by 69 percent from 2015 to 2017.
The property is “severely underperforming” other resorts in the area, tax consultant Jessica Vachiratevanurak told a Miami-Dade County official in an attempt to reduce the property’s tax bill. She said the reason is due to “some negative connotation that is associated with the brand.”
Occupancy at the resort was 53 percent in 2017, compared with 77 percent for competing resorts in the area, Vachiratevanurak told a magistrate reviewing the tax reduction request. Trump Doral’s rooms averaged $200 per night, while competitors average was $249, the Post reported.
Trump bought the 650-acre resort in 2012 for a reported $150 million. He borrowed $125 million from Deutsche Bank and embarked on $250 million in renovations.
Little was previously known about the finances of Trump Doral, which has worked to attract golfers from South America.
Overall, from 2015 to 2017, the club’s revenue fell 18 percent from $92 million to $75 million, according to the Post. The property’s net operating income fell from $13.8 million to $4.3 million during that same timeframe.
The Trump Organization dismissed the Post’s findings and cited Zika and hurricanes as a reason why tourists’ visits in South Florida slowed in 2017 and 2018, the Post said.
Revenue fell at other Trump hotels, in Chicago and New York, after Trump entered the presidential race, internal documents cited by the Post show.
In a statement about its Chicago property, the Trump Organization said it wasn’t because of the name. “It’s sad to say, but the perceived threat of gun violence has harmed visitation to the destination,” according to the statement, the Post reported.
But company figures filed with Cook County, Illinois for tax purposes, according to the Post, show Trump’s competitors in Chicago have not reported similar drops in revenue.
The Real Deal recently reported that Trump Organization is also facing another challenge with its Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago as the property has secured just one retail tenant since it opened in 2009. [Washington Post] — Keith Larsen