President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club saw revenue drop 10 percent in 2018, its first full year after Trump’s political rhetoric drove away many of the national charities that once rented its ballrooms, according to Trump’s new personal financial disclosures.
The disclosures, released Thursday afternoon, revealed details about income and land sales for more than 20 parts of Trump’s real estate and hospitality business. The disclosure covered all of calendar year 2018.
The overall result was mixed. Revenue increased modestly at several places that Trump visits: at his hotel in downtown Washington, it increased 1 percent over 2017. Revenue increased at both his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey, where Trump spends summer weekends, and at his golf club in Northern Virginia, where Trump has played rounds with members of Congress and foreign leaders.
But at places where Trump rarely goes — which can’t offer customers the chance to mingle with a president — there were declines. Revenue fell at eight of Trump’s 12 U.S. golf courses.
At Trump’s Doral resort — a linchpin of his finances, which produces more revenue for him than any other hotel — the documents showed that a sharp decline in revenue stopped in 2018.
But it stayed around the same low level, rising just 1.6 percent over 2017.
At Trump’s Chicago hotel, revenue was down 5 percent, continuing a long slide that began in 2016. Trump’s company has blamed the decline on tourists’ fears of gun violence in Chicago, though other Chicago luxury hotels have thrived in the same time.
In a statement earlier this week, Eric Trump — the president’s son, who is running the Trump Organization day-to-day — said that his company had a great year.
“Our company had an exceptional 2018,” Trump said in the statement. “Our iconic hotels, golf courses, commercial buildings, residential projects and other assets are the best in the world and unrivaled by anyone.”
The company noted that its overall golf revenue increased from 2017 to 2018. The increase was about 1.4 percent, largely driven by increases at its golf courses in Scotland and Ireland. Those British Isles courses have lost money in past years: the Trump disclosures don’t say if they actually turned a profit in 2018.
Trump’s financial disclosures don’t list the exact values of any of his assets, and they depict the income from many of his assets only as a broad range. They also seem to show only revenue, not the profit left over after expenses are paid.
So it is impossible, from this document alone, to say if Trump’s total income rose or fell from 2017 to 2018. Or to say if his company made money, or lost it.
The documents included some references to Trump businesses that have faded. The remains of Trump University produced no money at all, and Trump’s one-time modeling agency produced a paltry $547 in residual income.
They also showed that a new effort to sell Trump-branded products over the Internet — reaching Trump voters who might never visit a Trump property — has paid off. The income from that Trump Store online outlet increased from $107,000 to $520,000 in a year.
The documents also show that the Trump Organization sold off some of its non-core properties last year, including warehouses in South Carolina, housing developments in outer boroughs of New York, and land in the Dominican Republic. Those sales brought in more than $20 million.