Net operating income of Trump's most lucrative hotel falls 69 percent over two years: report

"There is some negative connotation that is associated with the brand," consultant Jessica Vachiratevanurak says

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published May 15, 2019 1:45PM (EDT)

 (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
(Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

A new report reveals that the Trump National Doral Miami — President Donald Trump's most lucrative hotel — is experiencing financial woes.

In fact, the hotel's net operating income has fallen by 69 percent over the past two years, according to the Washington Post. The resort reportedly missed the Trump Organization's internal business targets, including taking in only $75 million in revenue in 2017 against an anticipated $85 million.

"Profitability is down across the board," Michael Bellisario, an analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co., told the Post after reviewing financial documents provided to Miami-Dade County by the Trump Organization.

"It’s clearly underperforming their expectations," Bellisario added, although it has managed to remain profitable in part by reducing expenses.

"There is some negative connotation that is associated with the brand," tax consultant Jessica Vachiratevanurak explained to a Miami-Dade County official — the first time someone associated with the Trump Organization acknowledged the president's polarizing image has impacted his business empire.

Eric Trump, one of the president's sons running the company's day-to-day business operations, released a statement denying any negative effects on the family brand.

"This story is completely senseless," he told the Post. "Our iconic properties are the best in the world, and our portfolio is unrivaled by anyone."

In two paragraphs, however, the newspaper showed what the Trump Organization is saying in an apparent attempt to protect its image, as well as why those statements may be inaccurate:

To explain the declines at Doral, the Trump Organization issued a statement to The Washington Post that implicitly contradicted its own tax consultant and blamed factors that had nothing to do with Trump’s name. The company cited fears of the Zika virus in 2016, and hurricanes in 2016 and 2017, for driving tourists away from South Florida.

But the statistics provided by the company’s consultants to Miami-Dade County — which are legally required to be accurate — showed competing resorts in the same region of Florida still outperformed the Trump resort in the key metrics of room occupancy and average room rate.

This is not the first report suggesting the president's new career in politics has had a negative impact on his business empire. Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that New York's Trump Tower had become "one of the least desirable luxury properties in Manhattan." After being adjusted for inflation, condominium sales within the building have reportedly registered losses sometimes in excess of 20 percent. There were signs of the Trump brand suffering as far back as November 2017, when daily consumer perception surveys conducted by YouGov showed the Trump Hotels and Ivanka Trump brands had fallen to the bottom 10 of more than 1,600 brands studied.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. His diverse interests are reflected in his interview, including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), Senator Martin Heinrich (2013-present), Egyptologist Richard Parkinson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (2013-present), media entrepreneur Dan Abrams, actor R. J. Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), theoretical physicist Avi Loeb, biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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