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Saturday October 24th, 2020 4:40PM

Revenue at biggest Trump properties held steady last year

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — Revenue at President Donald Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel and several of his biggest clubs and resorts mostly held steady last year before the coronavirus forced many to shut their doors and lay off workers, according to a financial disclosure report released Friday.

Trump's D.C. hotel and his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, both took in slightly less revenue in 2019 for the third year in a row. Revenue at the president's golf club near Miami and at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club inched up.

In sum, the disclosure report released by the Office of Government Ethics appears to provide little evidence that Trump's role as president has provided a big boost to his business, as his critics had feared.

Trump’s vast properties and businesses — golf courses and hotels, office buildings and residential towers, and licenses to use his name among others services — generated revenue of more than $440 million, little changed from 2018. The value assigned to Trump’s assets was estimated at more than $1.3 billion, down slightly from the previous year.

Trump International Hotel in Washington, a magnet for lobbyists and diplomats hoping to curry favor with the administration, took in $40.5 million before its lobby was closed due to the coronavirus and other operations cut back. That is down from $40.8 million in 2018. Mar-a-Lago took in $21.4 million, down from $22.7 million.

One of the biggest revenue generators among Trump’s properties last year, the Trump National Doral Golf Club near Miami, took in $77.2 million, up from $76 million in 2018, its third year of climbing.

The Doral and Mar-a-Lago clubs were among many of Trump’s properties in several states and abroad that closed earlier this year due to the coronavirus. The company has asked for relief from tax authorities in Palm Beach County, where it operates two golf courses, and reportedly from its biggest lender, Deutsche Bank. In March and April, it laid off or furloughed at least 1,300 of its workers.

Eric Trump, who is running the family business with his brother, Don Jr., said in a statement “2019 was a fantastic year for our country and one of the best years in the history of The Trump Organization.”

For all the detail in Trump’s latest disclosure report, it gives only a partial picture of how his business has fared. It lists only revenues, not profits, for instance, and many figures are given in ranges.

Trump’s tax returns would give a better picture, but he has refused to disclose them, a first in the modern presidency. He also broke with presidential tradition by deciding not to sell off his holdings to avoid the potential conflicts with his decisions over regulations, taxes and laws that could benefit his business.

The Trump Organization, an umbrella group for his holdings, has struggled with boycotts and business blowback from Trump’s divisive comments and policies for years.

Several buildings have stripped the Trump name from their façades, including hotels in Manhattan and Toronto, and the company had to halt the rollout of two new hotel chains last year after it struggled to sign up business partners.

The total for Trump’s personal liabilities was unchanged between 2019 and 2020, showing he continues to owe debts amounting to at least $315 million to eight banks and commercial lenders. Trump’s major creditors include German-based Deutsche Bank, owed at least $130 million, and New York-headquartered commercial lender Ladder Capital, owed at least $110 million.

The only shift in Trump’s debt was a new lender, the Bryn Mawr Trust Company, a suburban Philadelphia bank which merged in 2017 with Royal Bank America, which had held a Trump debt worth between $5 million and $25 million for Seven Springs, a New York estate owned by the Trump Organization. The debt was due in 2019, but the new creditor extended Trump’s due date to 2029.

Trump’s disclosure also says he does not believe former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s work for him as his personal lawyer in 2018 and 2019 constituted a gift because he was working for free — “pro bono publico.”

“Mr. Giuliani is not able to estimate the value of that pro bona publico counsel; therefore, the value is unascertainable,” says a footnote on Trump’s form.

Along with Trump’s 78-page filing, his two closest advisors, daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, also released separate personal financial disclosures reporting at least $36 million in revenue for 2019.

At least $3.9 million of that came from revenues Ivanka Trump reported under her investment stake in Trump's hotel in Washington, which the Trump Organization has dangled for a possible sale.

The couple both also reported new liabilities amounting to between $5 million and $25 million as part of their investments in a real estate group called Times Square Associates LLC.

___

Braun reported from Washington.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News
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