PALM BEACH — Donald Trump fancies himself a dealmaker, now it’ll be interesting to see how the Commander-in-Chief deals with the fact that Mar-a-Lago stands to lose MILLIONS now that his seemingly unending stream of inflammatory statements has led charities to cancel their galas at his “Winter White House.”
Some 17 events have been cancelled so far and, according reports, the events bring in up to $275,000 for each charity gala!
Already a controversial figure, Trump’s really began when he failed to suitably condemn neo-Nazis and white supremacists whose actions at a Charlottesville rally left a counter-protestor dead. Indeed, Trump went so far in the other direction as to say there were “fine people” in the neo-Nazi crowd.
Lunch events at the resort can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $85,000, and dinners command up to $275,000.
These defections are a marked change of fortune for Mar-a-Lago, which doubled it’s initiation fee when Trump was elected. And Trump’s financial disclosures showed that Mar-a-Lago brought in $37.2 million in revenue for the 16-month period that ended April 15, a whopping $7.5 million more than the year before.
This upward momentum has clearly come to a screeching halt.
The departure of most of the booked charities comes after (and was perhaps influenced by) comments from the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce’s executive director, Laurel Baker, who urged event planners to “have a conscience” and discontinue their Mar-a-Lago association.
“Personally,” Baker said in no uncertain terms, “I do not feel that supporting [Trump], directly or indirectly, speaks well of any organization.”
As impressive as the Chamber of Commerce is, Mar-a-Lago had an even higher-profile critic in the media recently: ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel.
“It didn’t seem like heaven to me,” Kimmel noted dryly to Palm Beach’s Howard Stern on an episode of the latter’s Sirius radio show.
“I like it,” Stern countered. “It’s got a great barbecue.”
Kimmel remarked on “a lot of very old rich people there” and “all of the framed photos of Donald Trump in the bathroom.”
“There were a dozen of them,” he continued with bemused wonder.
Strange times when accusations of ludicrous vanity seem mild when weighed against other charges directed at a sitting president.