News Source: dcist.com
The Trump Hotel Only Fills About Half Its Guest Rooms, Per Company Documents
News Source/Courtesy: dcist.com

Courtesy: Natalie Delgadillo | News Source: dcist.com

The Trump International Hotel in D.C. is not living up to Trump Organization’s financial expectations, according to the Washington Post, which reports that the hotel’s guest rooms are half empty despite an uptick in patronage from Republican campaigns, conservative groups, and Christian organizations.

In October, Eric Trump—who runs his father’s companies along with brother Donald Trump, Jr.—confirmed that the organization was looking into selling its 60-year lease of the Old Post Office building. The company acquired the lease in 2013 and the hotel opened in 2016, shortly before the election.

The Washington Post obtained financial documents on the hotel’s economic position provided to potential buyers, and they paint a less-than-pretty picture. It’s underperforming compared with similar hotels in D.C. like the Ritz-Carlton, despite charging guests an average of $650 per night, a higher rate than other comparable District hotels, according to the Post analysis. Guest rooms are about 57 percent filled, compared with an average of 75 percent filled at competitors, per the outlet.

The groups that have spent the most money at the Trump Hotel since January 2017 are a pro-Trump Super PAC, Trump’s reelection campaign, the Republican National Committee, and Vice President Mike Pence’s own PAC, the Post reports.

At the start of his presidency, Trump declined to completely divest from his company, instead putting his sons in charge of day-to-day operations. This is a departure from previous presidents’ actions, and Trump has faced criticism for it, including allegations that he is trying to use the presidency to enrich himself. The attorneys general of D.C. and Maryland, Karl Racine and Brian Frosh, are currently suing the president for allegedly violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause. They argue that foreign and domestic leaders choose to stay at Trump’s properties to try to win favor with the president.

The financial documents obtained by the Post make the case that new owners might be able to make much more money than the Trump Organization because they would be “unencumbered” by Trump’s name and have the ability to solicit business from foreign governments. The Trump International Hotel “is organically positioned to market and solicit foreign government business,” given its “unbelievable proximity to the White House, U.S. Capitol, Internal Revenue Service, Treasury, Department of Justice” and other offices, the documents from the Post say.

The Trump Organization has not responded to DCist’s request for comment.

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