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Trump reveals extent of pandemic damage to business empire

The Trump Hotel in Washington. Trump is returning to a family business ravaged by pandemic shutdowns, with revenue plunging more than 40 percent at his Doral golf property, his Washington hotel, and at both his Scottish resorts.
The Trump Hotel in Washington. Trump is returning to a family business ravaged by pandemic shutdowns, with revenue plunging more than 40 percent at his Doral golf property, his Washington hotel, and at both his Scottish resorts.Susan Walsh/Associated Press

Donald Trump’s empire has been hit hard by coronavirus closures, with revenue from his Washington and Las Vegas hotels down by more than half.

In his last financial disclosure form as president, Trump detailed the damage the pandemic has wrought, at a time when many tourism businesses are suffering from a lack of travelers. As president, the real estate magnate resisted policies to slow the pandemic through mask-wearing, and insisted it remained safe for people to travel domestically.

Revenue from the Trump hotel in Washington, which he had been trying to sell, fell to $15.1 million from $40.5 million a year earlier, according to the disclosure posted Wednesday. In Vegas, hotel-related sales were down to $9.2 million from $23.3 million. Another important property of Trump’s, the Doral Golf Resort in Miami, also saw revenues drop to $44 million from $77 million a year earlier.

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In the UK and Ireland, revenues at his golf courses dropped by roughly two-thirds, part of a 27 percent overall decline in golfing revenue from the prior year.

Trump’s total income fell to between $273 million and $308 million, according to the form, which covers 2020 and the first 20 days of 2021. In his first financial disclosure in 2017, Trump reported making more than $528.9 million over 15 1/2 months, including his first three months as president.

One bright spot in Trump’s empire is his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, where the ex-president returned Wednesday after his final day in the White House. Revenue hit $24.2 million, up from $21.4 million a year earlier, according to the financial disclosure.

It’s one of Trump’s few properties that seems unaffected by the pandemic. Just a few weeks ago, the Palm Beach spot hosted a New Year’s Eve party attended by Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Rudy Giuliani, with Vanilla Ice performing for a crowd that appeared to be largely without masks.

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Trump also reported an uptick in online retail sales year-over-year, up to $1.96 million from $930,869 in 2019. However, in-store sales at Trump Tower in New York City fell because of forced closures — down to $166,064 from $849,313.

In total, Trump valued the assets from his businesses at between $1.3 billion and $1.7 billion. The disclosures are not exact — federal officials give the value of their assets and income in broad ranges, and the top value is ’'over $50 million.’' Trump had 22 assets he listed in that range, including his Mar-a-Lago resort and the Trump International Hotel in Washington.

The form also details more than $40,000 in gifts Trump accepted in his last year in office, including freebies from executives at Boeing, Apple, and Ford Motor.

Trump is worth $2.5 billion, down about $500 million from when he took office, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His buildings are saddled with more than $1 billion in debt, most of it coming due in the next three years and more than a third of it personally guaranteed.

His ability to refinance the debt may be more constrained after this month’s deadly riot at the US Capitol.

Deutsche Bank, his longtime financier, has said it won’t do business any more with the former president. Firms such as Cushman & Wakefield, a broker for 40 Wall St., and PGA of America, are also distancing themselves, while New York City wants to end contracts with the Trump family business, including a carousel and two ice skating rinks in Central Park and a Bronx golf course.

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