Does Donald Trump Make Money if I Spend Mine in the Trump Tower?

Our City Informer digs into the economics of the Trump Tower.

It’s hard to know what to make of the new and very tall Trump International Hotel and Tower on West Georgia Street. (69 floors? Real mature, you guys.) On the one hand, it’s not technically owned by the Trumpster, but on the other hand, he must have something to do with it, right? If you don’t like to frequent businesses that benefit a cartoon supervillain—or, I suppose, if you do—it’s nice to know exactly what the relationship is between POTUS and his branded entities.

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Here’s the scoop: Holborn Group holds the keys to the Arthur Erickson–designed building and licensed the trusted Trump name for a new luxury hotel and condo development after a deal with the Ritz-Carlton fell through. So while the building does have to follow strict brand style and service standards, it’s not a real estate asset for the Trump Organization. But Trump’s company still has a vested interest in the property’s success, which is why his progeny were here for the opening while Dad was off trying to Make America Great Again™. Not only does Trump Org. manage operations for the hotel, restaurants and spa (the exception being the nightclub, which is independently operated), it also receives a profit if certain sales targets are hit, a source from Holborn said, and it takes a percentage of each condo sale, too. Those numbers add up fast. At Mott 32, the hotel’s upscale Chinese restaurant, you can order a braised whole dried fish maw for $880, and I think we all know what the profit margins on fish maw are in this economy.

So if you’re the kind of person who loves spending an afternoon surrounded by chandeliers but hates being grabbed by your genitals, you have some soul-searching to do. Formerly non-partisan activities, like popping by the Spa by Ivanka Trump for facial serum applied via conch shell, are now a direct line to the First Family’s next Mar-a-Lago getaway.

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