President Donald Trump’s golf courses and resorts are major money losers for The Trump Organization, racking up hundreds of millions of dollars in losses dating back 20 years.
The New York Times reports on information found in Trump’s tax returns obtained by the media organization, publishing Sunday the first in a series of deep dives into revelations found in the documents. Among the insights shared in the initial post is the extent to which Trump has lost money in the golf business.
The Trump Organization owns or operates 17 golf courses around the world, with 15 owned, including three overseas, and two in the United Arab Emirates his company operates through a licensing deal. Dating back to 2000, Trump has reported a total loss of $315.6 million for his golf properties.
In particular, Trump’s golf resorts have driven the losses.
Trump National Doral in South Florida, which Trump purchased in a 2012 bankruptcy sale for $150 million, has lost $162.3 million the eight years since the acquisition, according to the Times report. Trump has spent $213 million on the property, and a $125 million mortgage on the property is due in full in three years. The capital infusion has been spent renovating the resort’s accommodations and several of the property’s golf courses, including the famous Blue Monster, which hosted the PGA Tour for some 50 years before the PGA Tour left in 2016.
Like at any resort during these times, the pandemic has exacerbated problems, limiting capacity and facing cancellations of meetings and conferences. However, a variety of businesses that seek beneficial policy changes with the federal government have conducted meetings and retreats at Doral.
Meanwhile, Trump’s overseas resorts — Trump Turnberry and Trump International Golf Links in Scotland, as well Trump International Golf Links in Doonbeg, Ireland — have racked up combined losses of $63.6 million, already reported publicly by disclosure laws in those respective countries.
Trump’s other 11 owned-and-operated properties, which are predominantly private country clubs with the exception of his Los Angeles-area public golf course, have lost $89.7 million in that two-decade span. Trump did not own these properties for the full 20-year period.
Trump has also used his golf businesses to reduce his tax liability, declaring land at his Los Angeles-area club as protected under an environmental conservation easement that meant millions in tax credits. He also wrote off dramatically higher administrative expenses for his Bedminster, N.J., club early in his presidency, likely done in response to the club becoming a home away from the White House during the summers.
Overall, Trump’s wealth is imperiled by a series of problems, including personally guaranteed loans and a pending audit of a $72 million tax refund Trump claimed at the height of the Great Recession. Depending on what happens in the election, Trump could face serious financial hardship after leaving the White House.