The Trump International Hotel in D.C. Might Be a White Elephant

Once the hub of Trump World in Washington, the renovated Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue is reeling from a huge loss of income and prestige.

Trump International Hotel made just $15.1 million in revenue last year, a drop of over 60% from the previous year. Of course tourism is down because of the pandemic, but Trump’s loss of the election, two impeachments, and incitement of an insurrection has inflicted much reputational damage.

One week after Trump left town, it was reported that the opulent lobby was largely vacant and staff members outweighed customers.

Steel barriers surround the facade of the building, and according to a porter, only guests and their invitees are allowed inside due to coronavirus restrictions. When the Guardian called the front desk, a man who identified himself as the manager said, “I’d rather not comment. Thank you for your call,” then hung up.

The hotel’s steakhouse still reserves table 72 for Trump himself, but it remains empty.

“As soon as Trump was seated, the server had to ‘discreetly present’ a mini bottle of Purell hand sanitizer. (This applied long before Covid, mind you.),” it reported. “Next, cue dialogue: ‘Good (time of day) Mr President. Would you like your Diet Coke with or without ice?’ the server was instructed to recite.

Trump always ate the same meal: shrimp cocktail, well-done steak and fries, sometimes with apple pie or chocolate cake for dessert, according to the Washingtonian. “The manual instructed the server to open mini glass bottles of Heinz ketchup in front of Trump, taking care to ensure he could hear the seal make the ‘pop’ sound.”

In 2019, Trump reportedly tried to sell the hotel for $500 million, but those plans are on hold. A casual look at its website shows rooms available from $476 a night, suites from $1,122 a night and signature suites from $1,316 a night.

The Guardian reported this story, and has more interesting details.

Trump World now revolves around Mar-a-Lago in Florida, where he mingles and takes selfies with guests.