Emoluments watch: Trump's DC hotel spiked rates shortly after his inauguration

Jerome Frank
August 12, 2017

President Trump's hotel in Washington, DC, jacked up its rates after he took office more than it had planned to charge - and the posh facility outperformed his company's expectations as a result, a new report said Friday.

The extravagant Washington, D.C., hotel bearing the name of President Donald Trump took home almost $2 million in profits this year, according to financial reports from its management company seen by multiple media outlets. Quite the opposite. Based on financial records obtained by the Post and the Wall Street Journal, the Trump Organization was expecting a $2.1 million loss during the first 4 months of the year; instead it recorded about $18 million in revenue and made a $1.97 million profit.

However, the occupancy rate for the Trump hotel is low for the area. The financial information was later redacted, the Journal reported.

"What makes all of this particularly galling is that we now have the unprecedented situation where the President of the United States is both the landlord and tenant of a federal building", he said in a July statement. Before Donald Trump won the presidential election past year, the Trump Organization estimated the hotel would lose money in 2017 as it invested in growing its start-up hotel and convention business.

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The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington alleged in January that Trump was violating the hotel's lease by not divesting from his company. But after Trump won the election, those projections did not take into account the idea that the hotel would be turned into an unseemly hub where access to the presidency can be purchased for just a few extra dollars a night.

Of his 202 days in office, Trump has spent 65 days at his properties, a lot of them at his golf properties. Still, the high price of the rooms and extravagant food and beverage tabs (on average, guests spend a total of $8.2 million on food and drinks at the Trump International this year) allowed Trump's DC hotel to not only not lose money but bring in a high profit.

Critics of the president believe this is proof that Trump is profiting from the presidency. The federal government collects $3 million in annual rent from the Trump Organization for the hotel.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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