Tue, Jan 18, 2022 3:29 PM
By BERNARD CONDON, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump plans to build 2,300 luxury homes at his Doral golf resort in the Miami area, part of a flurry of recent moves to revive a family business suffering from the one-two punch of a divisive presidency and coronavirus shutdowns.
In a news release Monday, the 45th president called the plans for his sprawling Trump National Doral resort “perhaps the most exciting development in the country” but was short on details such as the size of the homes and what they may cost. The release said the plans called for the construction of retail and commercial space as well.
The Doral, the biggest revenue generator among Trump's 17 golf properties, has been a drain on the business in recent years.
In 2019, Trump announced plans to hold the global meeting of Group of Seven leaders at the resort, a potential big money maker for hosts. But he had to cancel after a bipartisan outcry over self-dealing and a possible violation of a constitutional ban on presidents receiving gifts or payments from foreign leaders.
The resort had hoped to regain ground after the PGA and other organizations pulled events there, but finances have only gotten worse since. Revenue plunged more than by $33 million over the next two years, down more than 40%, according to financial statements filed with a federal government ethics office. As of last year, the Trump company had $125 million borrowed on the property.
The Trump Organization did not reply to requests for comment.
The press release had an official U.S. government seal with an American eagle at top, an unusual use given the release was promoting a private business venture. Former presidents can use the seal for matters involving their former office, but are not allowed to profit from it. Under federal law, the seal can only be used for official government business.
The Trump Organization’s plans for Doral are part of a string of recent business moves after months of relative quiet.
In September, several news outlets reported that the company had struck a preliminary deal to sell the lease underlying its Washington, D.C., hotel to Miami-based CGI Merchant Group for $375 million, much more than many hotel experts had expected for the money-losing property.
In October, Trump announced a new rival to Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms that had banned him after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 last year. The business said it is will give voice to others who've been taken off social media sites as part of “cancel culture." Last month, it said it had raised $1 billion from unnamed investors and plans to launch the messaging app called Truth Social early this year.