Forbes estimates that the pandemic helped wipe out about $ 200 million from Trump’s revenue last year.
In April 2017, press secretary Sean Spicer stepped onto the podium in the White House briefing room and announced that the president was donating his first quarter salary to the National Park Service. With a serious look on his face, Spicer pulled out an oversized check with an oversized signature. It was the first of several checks Donald Trump signed during his tenure, handing over his salary of $ 400,000 in exchange for good publicity.
It was money for Trump. His real money came from the business he refused to part with, not his government salary. An analysis of documents, some of which have only become public in recent weeks, shows how much Trump’s businesses have garnered during his tenure. Go through everything including property records, ethical disclosures, debt documents, and securities filings, and you’ll find roughly $ 2.4 billion in revenue from January 2017 to December 2020.
What brings in the income?
Without the pandemic, there would have been even more. Trump’s business grossed around $ 650 million a year during the first three years of his presidency. But in 2020, revenues plunged to around $ 450 million as COVID infected the business. “It hurts me, and it hurts Hilton, and it hurts all the big hotel chains around the world,” Trump said at a March 2020 press conference at the White House. “It hurts everyone. I mean there are very few companies that are doing well now.
Most of Trump’s income has flowed through his golf clubs and properties, which generated around $ 940 million over four years. Trump National Doral, Miami’s golf resort, contributed about $ 270 million to that total. Trump’s Palm Beach club Mar-a-Lago grossed around $ 90 million. A golf club in New Jersey, where the former president spent time this summer, cashed in about $ 60 million. However, not all of these numbers ended up in Trump’s pocket. Golf clubs and resorts are expensive to run, with operating profit margins of 20% in good times. During the pandemic, Trump’s traditional courses have performed quite well, but his golf resorts have faced long shutdowns, dropping his overall golf and club revenues by 27% to around $ 190 million in 2020. .
Luckily for Trump, he also owned high-margin commercial real estate assets to bolster his bottom line. This proved particularly critical in 2020, as commercial tenants – many of whom are bound by long-term leases – continued to pay rent. At 555 California Street, a San Francisco office building in which Trump has a 30% stake, its rent actually increased last year from $ 42 million to $ 43 million, according to an analysis of the files. . The same thing happened at 1290 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, where Trump’s transport went from around $ 55 million to $ 58 million.
Hospitality, licensing and management, on the other hand, have not done so well. Estimated earnings remained well above $ 100 million from 2017 to 2019, but dropped to over $ 50 million in 2020. No part of Trump’s portfolio was more ill-placed to withstand such a blow. , given the indebtedness of its hotels. Inside its Washington, DC hotel, revenue stagnated at around $ 52 million from 2017 to 2019. With revenue stalled, the hotel didn’t appear to be making enough profit before the pandemic. to cover interest on his $ 170 million loan from Deutsche Bank. Things only got worse when COVID-19 hit, and revenues plunged to less than $ 20 million. It’s no wonder the Trump Organization tried to sell the place.
But the former president didn’t have much luck in offloading this hotel or other assets last year. Trump gave up $ 32 million in real estate in 2017, roughly $ 53 million in 2018, then $ 32 million in 2019. In 2020, however, he only made $ 435,000 selling condos in Vegas. The lack of deals was one of the reasons revenue fell about 25% to around $ 450 million. A smaller sum, certainly, but still more than 1,000 times the annual salary he gave.