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Trump plans a major expansion at one of his Florida resort properties

Donald Trump is planning to expand his Trump National Doral golf resort in Miami, Florida by building 2,300 new luxury homes and commercial units.

The former president was criticised for using the presidential seal and office to promote the private club in a statement on Tuesday, claiming to have “just spent millions of dollars” on the Blue Monster golf course at the resort.

Mr Trump bought the resort out of bankruptcy in 2012 and it currently boasts four courses as well as a swanky hotel.

While the Covid-19 pandemic led to closures and furloughs at the resort, it was initially one of the Trump Organization’s biggest sources of funds, according to Bloomberg.

But the resort has now millions in loans soon coming due – loans that have been personally guaranteed by Mr Trump.

Florida has been mostly open during the pandemic, with few restrictions in place, and many in the finance and tech sectors have moved to the southern parts of the state from areas with higher taxes.

Mr Trump has been more involved in Republican politics than the world of business since leaving the White House. Large parts of corporate America has also distanced themselves from Mr Trump following his controversial term in office and the Capitol riot a little more than a year ago, which resulted in him being banned from social media.

The Trump Organization formally notified the General Service Administration of the proposed sale of its lease of The Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC after reaching a $375m deal with the investment company CGI Merchant Group for the Old Post Office Building just off the National Mall.

“GSA has been formally notified of the proposed transfer and is committed to conducting a thorough review to ensure compliance with all legal and contractual requirements,” the GSA said, according to CNN.

Mr Trump has also founded a media company that’s merging with special purpose acquisition company Digital World Acquisition Corporation.

The companies reportedly raised $1bn in funding from unidentified investors in an effort to challenge Big Tech, which some conservatives see as trying to silence right-wing voices.

Bloomberg estimates Mr Trump’s net worth to be $2.6bn.

Mr Trump’s apparent use of the presidential seal to push out promotional materials for his Florida golf course didn’t go down well.

The former president’s office is granted $1m every year to help with running costs and expenses, but this money isn’t typically used to help finance personal business ventures.

Given that it is a tax-payer funded operation, using such funds to promote a golf course – as Mr Trump appears to have done – would be subject to public scrutiny.

“I have just spent millions of dollars on the Blue Monster golf course at Trump National Doral in the heart of Miami,” the official statement read. “Incredible what has been created. The Blue Monster is one of the greatest courses in the world, and a favorite of PGA tour players.”

“Check it out! Also, will be applying for 2,300 units of luxury housing, retail, and commercial space in Phase 1 at Doral. This is perhaps the most exciting development in the Country – and the Blue Monster course coupled with the Red, Gold, and Silver, are setting records!” Mr Trump added.

Mr Trump’s Doral facility in Miami hasn’t fared well over the past few years. Even prior to the pandemic, the resort’s net income had fallen by 69 per cent since the former president’s 2016 election victory.

These losses were naturally exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, as all of Mr Trump’s properties took a major financial hit. Last year, Forbes reported that Doral’s revenue crashed more than 40 per cent in 2020.

His documents show “golf resort related revenues” of $44.2 million, which is a decrease from $77.2 million the property made in 2019.

It’s unclear if that’s the main reason that Mr Trump appears to be using his presidential powers to promote the property. However, his apparent decision to do so certainly didn’t go unnoticed online. As one Twitter user lamented: “Your tax dollars just paid for Trump to promote his golf course.”


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