Last year, first son Eric Trump bragged to the Associated Press that his family's Miami-area golf resort, Trump National Doral Miami, was absolutely crushing it. "The Doral is on fire," he gloated.
What he should have said is that Trump Doral is, in fact, a garbage fire: According to a story today by Washington Post reporters David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell, revenue has been plummeting at the property since 2015. A consultant for the Trump Organization told Miami-Dade County tax officials in late 2018 that the resort was "severely underperforming" when compared with comparable hotel properties in South Florida, thanks to Trump himself.
"There is some negative connotation that is associated with the brand," the consultant, Jessica Vachiratevanurak, explained.
NEW: @realdonaldtrump's prized Doral resort -- his biggest moneymaker hotel -- is in steep decline, according to Trump Org. figures.— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) May 15, 2019
Why? Trump Org's own rep. said the problem was...Trump. His brand is now a weight.https://t.co/9xWCsXUczZ
Public records obtained by the Post show an 18 percent revenue decline at Trump National Doral Miami from 2015 to 2017, representing a loss of $17 million. Net operating income — the amount of cash on hand after expenses — dropped a staggering 69 percent in that time.
It also appears Trump's desired customers are opting for other accommodations when they're in Miami. While the resort's competitors charged an average of $200 per night in 2017, with an occupancy rate of 77 percent, Trump's Doral hotel pulled in just $200 per night and managed only a 53 percent occupancy rate.
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The revelation is no real surprise. Last year, Forbes reported similar findings in an article that briefly detailed a meeting of the resort's concerned executives. According to that story, Trump National Doral Miami lost 100,000 booked hotel room nights after its eponymous owner was elected in 2016.
While room rates, occupancy rates, and revenue are apparently down over the past several years, a number of conservative and special-interest groups have bolstered business at the Doral resort by hosting conferences and other events there. The payday-lending industry has now held two conferences at Trump Doral, and the Republican National Committee has booked the property for numerous events.
The Trump Organization, meanwhile, blames the resort's losses on the active 2016 and 2017 hurricane seasons and the 2016 Zika scare, despite the fact that Florida regularly has hurricanes and the Zika zones were far from Doral, in Wynwood and Miami Beach. Without providing any hard numbers, the organization told the Post that 2018 "was a remarkable year for [Doral] and 2019 is off to an unbelievable start."
"This story is completely senseless," Eric Trump said in a statement. "Our iconic properties are the best in the world and our portfolio is unrivaled by anyone."