Investors in Trump hotels in New York and Chicago are taking hit

Donald Trump and Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago (left) and New York (right) (Credit: Wikipedia)

Small-time investors in Trump properties in cities like New York and Chicago have taken a hit since Donald Trump became president.

Revenue at the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York between 2015 and 2017 went from $34.4 million to $30.9 million — a 14 percent decline after adjusting for inflation, the Washington Post reported. Bookings at Trump’s hotel in Chicago dropped 8 percent between 2015 and 2016.

Some investors at the hotels — who, through condo-hotel arrangements, share in the booking profits for the rooms — say that revenue now isn’t covering the fees and taxes that they pay on the rooms. Earlier this year, the board of the New York hotel considered shedding Trump’s name. Donald Trump Jr. and a New Jersey doctor named Stephen Soloway, who was later named to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, tried to shut down the effort. They were outvoted, but the idea ultimately didn’t go anywhere.

“There’s a lot of people who have nothing to do with him, that are being injured,” said Howard Finkelstein, an investor in Trump’s New York hotel. “We’re the ones that are paying the price for his ridiculous ego. There’s no reason to have that name on there.”

Meanwhile, the Trump Organization’s hotel in Washington D.C. is benefiting from an influx of conservative groups, GOP fundraisers and foreign embassy parties. The Las Vegas hotel has attracted tourists from China.

And while bookings at Trump’s Chicago hotel have been down so far in 2018, according to an update shared with investors late last month, it’s seen an influx in visitors from Saudi Arabia. Bookings from those travelers skyrocketed 169 percent so far in 2018 from the same period two years earlier. The investor note also stated that there’s been an uptick in guests from China.

It’s unclear how the latest inquiries into the Trump real estate empire will impact its properties. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced on Wednesday that it’s launching an investigation into the Trump family for possible tax evasion following an explosive New York Times report. City officials subsequently announced that they too will look into whether the Trumps underpaid taxes on their real estate for decades. [Washington Post] — Kathryn Brenzel

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