Trump's Miami Golf Resort Revenues Have Plummeted Since He Became President

Trump's Miami Golf Resort Revenues Have Plummeted Since He Became President
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg

Lately, business has been good for luxury hotels in Miami. Revenues rose 4 percent in 2017, according to Forbes.

But one Miami-area luxury club hasn't seen that same revenue jump, and it's not exactly hard to guess why. According to a major report today from Forbes, hotel revenues at the Trump National Doral, arguably the Donald's golf flagship, have dropped like a stone since Trump became president. Per Forbes, revenues at the Trump Doral in 2017 fell an astounding 16 percent. According to inside sources who spoke to Forbes, the resort lost 100,000 booked-room nights. The resort has only 643 rooms.

That bit of information was tucked into Forbes' astounding long-form look at the Trump Organization's flagging fortunes since its owner's election. Apparently, nobody except a small group of government contractors and Rudy Giuliani wants to hang out at Trump properties anymore. That's perhaps not stunning given Trump's actions as president, his series of racist remarks and statements admitting to sexual assault, and the fact that he generally talks as if he's recently microwaved his own head. Despite Trump's relatively high popularity among registered Republicans, visitors, corporate sponsors, and the kinds of folks who hold conventions seem to be wary about booking events at his properties.

But the actual numbers Forbes turned up are pretty wild: Trump's personal net worth dropped from $4.5 billion in 2015 to $3.1 billion currently. He has plummeted 138 spots on the Forbes 400 and is likely more upset about this fact than if one of his kids were hit by a bus. Revenue at Trump's golf properties overall (including his other resorts in Florida) dropped 9 percent in 2017.

Trump's condo and rental properties are also struggling. Per Forbes, prices at his multiple luxury buildings in New York and Miami have dropped every year since he announced his campaign in 2015. (The Forbes story does not mention Trump Towers III in Sunny Isles Beach.)

The Trump Organization has tried to offset his family's now-toxic reputation in urban areas such as New York and Chicago by building Trump-branded projects in Middle America, where he remains more popular. But Forbes notes that those developments, including one in Mississippi, have barely brought in tens of thousands of dollars so far. Trump is also getting sued for taking payments from foreign leaders to the Trump Organization while serving as president, which is a brazen violation of the U.S. Constitution.

In the meantime, there are signs that the clientele at the Trump Doral has shifted since 2015. Numerous local and national reports have noted that the club has been flooded with parties and conventions for government contractors and other companies that hope to do business with the U.S. government. The Boca Raton private-prison contractor GEO Group, for example, shifted its 2017 corporate party to the Trump Doral after Trump won the presidency. (Incidentally, GEO now makes more money from Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracts than any other private company.)

Similarly, the predatory payday-lending industry held its conference at the Trump Doral earlier this year. Many observers wondered whether that conference, which drew protests, was an attempt to funnel money to the president's companies at a time when Congress has been debating cracking down on the industry, which offers high-interest, loan-shark-style borrowing agreements to poor people in desperate need of quick cash.

Earlier this year, New Times chronicled the six shadiest events held at the Trump Doral since Trump won the presidency. Those events included shindigs for the Republican Party itself, soirees for the Big Candy industry that occurred right when those companies were lobbying the federal government, gatherings for the insurance industry, and an astoundingly corrupt-looking affair from the very construction industry that stands to make money building oil pipelines.

In the meantime, politically neutral events, such as the golf tournament the Doral Open, have left the property. A mentally ill gunman stormed the golf course earlier this year, and police were forced to shoot him in the leg.

The resort's best week in 2017 might have been during Hurricane Irma, when wealthier Miamians fled inland and camped out at the hotel during the storm. Other people, it seems, would not be caught dead at the Trump Doral even in a hurricane.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.