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Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort swept up in Hurricane Irma evacuation

10-Sep-2017


Rachel Koning Beals, Market Watch

President Trump’s seaside Mar-a-Lago resort in exclusive Palm Beach, Fla., was ordered to evacuate Friday as Hurricane Irma barreled toward that part of the state.

The evacuation was part of an official order that covered Palm Beach, the barrier islands and other low-lying areas of Palm Beach County, the Sun Sentinel newspaper said. Officials have ordered everyone to leave by 5 p.m. Eastern Friday.

Irma, the most powerful storm to ever build in the Atlantic, continued its devastating track across the Caribbean and remained on path to hit Florida this weekend. Though it remains a “life-threatening” weather system, it was downgraded to a Category 4 hurricane from Category 5, the highest on the Saffir–Simpson scale.

 

Hurricane Irma Devastates Caribbean Islands

Trump has owned the Mar-a-Lago private club, which dates to 1927, since 1985. The president has vacationed and conducted business there numerous times in his presidency, including hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other foreign leaders, sometimes courting controversy over security and the scope of policy discussions at the site.

Initiation fees at the high-end resort were raised to $200,000 after his election, the Miami Herald has reported. Filings showed that Trump reported $37.2 million in income from Mar-a-Lago, which he dubbed the “Winter White House,” in the 16-month period ended April 15, 2017. That was $7.5 million more than he reported from the resort in his previous financial disclosure, in May 2016.

Trump also owns three golf courses in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Irma is believed to have already taken a bite out of the Trump portfolio. An 11-bedroom mansion owned by the president on the Caribbean island of St. Martin is reported to have been torn apart in the storm. Trump has been trying to sell the property, a waterfront estate with a pool and fitness center, and had slashed the listing price to $16.9 million in August from $28 million.


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