Is Donald Trump bankrupt? Ex president returns to troubled empire as his debt soars to $300M

A number of Trump's premier properties have seen a sharp fall, some even by more than 60 percent

                            Is Donald Trump bankrupt? Ex president returns to troubled empire as his debt soars to $300M
Donald Trump is back to his businesses (Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump has focused back on his family business after the conclusion of his presidency only to see bad news awaiting him there. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the businessman-politician’s ventures with revenue plummeting by more than 40 percent over the past year. Some of his well-known properties that have taken a hit are his Doral golf resort, hotel in Washington and both the resorts in Scotland.

Associated Press on Thursday, January 21, reported that Trump’s financial disclosure which was released as his exit from the White House brought the bad news for his business empire. It is a fresh blow for the Republican after banks, real-estate brokerages and golf bodies severed ties with his name/venture following the January 6 riot carried out at the Capitol Hill by his supporters protesting the victory of Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. “The disclosure showed sizable debt facing the company of more than $300 million, much of it coming due in the next four years,” AP added.

President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort (Getty Images)

It, however, said that revenue at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, where he shifted after the end of his presidency, went up by a few millions. 

Disclosure is not telling the reality, says Eric Trump

Eric Trump, the ex-president's second son who has run the Trump Organization over the past four years with Donald Trump Jr, the eldest son, said in an interview with The Associated Press that the disclosure did not reflect the real story. He called the debt “negligible” and that the outlook for the company was bright, particularly at the golf resorts and courses. “The golf business has never been stronger. We took in hundreds and hundreds of new members,” Eric said, adding that profits were in the “tens of millions.” Trump’s golf venture faced a backlash earlier this month when the PGA of America announced termination of an agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster, New Jersey, days after the Capitol violence.

Eric also hinted at possible new businesses now once Trump has entered his post-presidency days. According to the AP report, the 37-year-old businessman “raised the prospect of a flurry of new licensing deals in which the Trump name is put on a product or building for a fee, a business that has generated tens of millions for the company in the past”. According to him, “the opportunities are endless”. 

Eric Trump (Getty Images)

The disclosure report filed every year with federal ethics officials reveals only the revenue figures and not profits but the blow to the former president’s business was found to be widespread. 

“The National Doral Golf Club outside of Miami, his biggest moneymaker among the family’s golf properties, took in $44.2 million in revenue, a drop of $33 million from 2019. The Trump International Hotel in Washington, once buzzing with lobbyists and diplomats before operations were cut back last year, generated just $15.1 million in revenue, down more than 60% from the year before. Trump’s Turnberry club in Scotland took in less than $10 million, down more than 60%. Revenue at the family’s golf club in Aberdeen dropped by roughly the same proportion,” AP reported, also adding that Mar-a-Lago saw the revenue rising by 10 percent to $24.2 million while that at a golf club near it and one in Charlotte, North Carolina, also went up by about five percent to reach $13 million each.

Overall, Trump’s vast network of assets raked in at least $278 million last year and the first few weeks of 2021, down from about $450 million in 2019. While the financial toll faced from clients and business partners slashing ties with Trump is not clear, AP said it might be sizable. New York City, for example, said it would call off various contracts with Trump’s businesses, including those operating skating rinks and a golf club in Bronx and revenue at that course — Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point — fell 20 percent last year to below $7 million.

Eric, though, dismissed the backlash to say parts of the business that get less attention, like commercial buildings, were thriving. “I’ve signed 125,000 square feet of office space in the fourth quarter alone,” he said, citing new leases. “We hit it out of the park.”

Last April, Forbes reported that Trump’s business was hit by the pandemic and the former president’s net worth dropped by $1 billion in just a month — from $3.1B to $2.1B. In September, Forbes came up with another report that said Trump’s businesses earned an estimated $1.9 billion of revenue in his first three years in office — between 2017 and 2019.

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