https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics ... 56100bc719Trump’s prized Doral resort is in steep decline, according to company documents, showing his business problems are mounting
By David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell May 15 at 6:00 AM
Late last year, in a Miami conference room, a consultant for President Trump’s company said business at his prized 643-room Doral resort was in sharp decline. At Doral, which Trump has listed in federal disclosures as his biggest moneymaker hotel, room rates, banquets, golf and overall revenue were all down since 2015. In two years, the resort’s net operating income — a key figure, representing the amount left over after expenses are paid — had fallen by 69 percent.
Even in a vigorous economy, the property was missing the Trump Organization’s internal business targets; for instance, the club expected to take in $85 million in revenue in 2017 but took in just $75 million. “They are severely underperforming” other resorts in the area, tax consultant Jessica Vachiratevanurak told a Miami-Dade County official in a bid to lower the property’s tax bill. The reason, she said: “There is some negative connotation that is associated with the brand.”
The troubles at Trump Doral — detailed here for the first time, based on documents and video obtained under Florida’s public-records law — suggest the Trump Organization’s problems are bigger than previously known. This is also the first known case in which a Trump Organization representative has publicly acknowledged the president’s name has hurt business.
The decline at Doral is especially significant because the resort had seemed better insulated from political backlash than other Trump properties, protected by its place in golf’s history, by its recent renovations, and by its location in a booming state that Trump won in 2016. It wasn’t.
But until now, Doral’s condition remained largely unknown outside the Trump Organization. Last year, Eric Trump said it was succeeding. “The Doral is on fire,” he told a reporter in June.
The 57-year-old, 650-acre resort is set among business parks and homes in an inland area near the Miami airport. Trump bought it in 2012 for a reported $150 million. He borrowed $125 million from Deutsche Bank and planned $250 million in renovations. He vowed on Twitter that “within two years it will be the best resort in the country.”
Its appeal was grounded in Florida weather and golf history: The legendary “Blue Monster” course had hosted a prominent PGA Tour event for more than 50 years running. In 2013, Trump caught a huge break: Tiger Woods won the Doral tournament on national television. Now, Trump would welcome tourists who wanted to play where Tiger did.
How long before Donald knocks Jeff Bezos again and blames him for his own failures? Projection, baby!