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Trump’s Washington D.C. Hotel By The Numbers

The Washington Post spent months at the D.C. hotel, and, it turns out, the place is a hive of Washington influence.

Trump’s Washington D.C. Hotel By The Numbers
[Photo: Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images]

Since Donald Trump’s election, critics have charged that anyone seeking a favor from his administration has an incentive to stay at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., a source of revenue from which the president has not divested.

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Trump’s critics point to the Constitution’s two so-called “emoluments” clauses, which bar the president from taking money from foreign entities, unless Congress gives its consent. It was on that basis that Maryland and the District of Columbia sued the president in June—followed quickly by nearly 200 members of Congress, reminding him that he needs their approval before accepting foreign money. Justice Department lawyers are fighting this and other lawsuits in court.

Recently, the Washington Post (the “AmazonWashingtonPost,” as the Tweeter of the Free World calls it) spent a month (a month!) camped out at the hotel to better understand who stays there and what happens within its walls. Not surprisingly, they discovered that the Old Post Office Building (as it used to be known, after its longtime owner, the U.S. government) is a hangout for Republicans, special interests, foreign dignitaries, and those who hope to influence the president.

And they found out plenty more. Here are the big numbers, from their story, our own research, and reporting by the Wall Street Journal based on recent financial records posted by the General Services Administration, which oversees the Trump Organization’s lease:

$24: Price of the cheapest cocktail at the hotel bar, recently increased from $16.

 $652.98 per night: estimated average price of a room, which “probably makes it the most expensive hotel in the city,” notes the Post. The minimum price on certain nights is $120 per night; on other nights, the minimum can be as much as $400.

$19.7 million: Revenue the hotel brought in between its opening last fall and mid-April, according to Trump’s most recent financial disclosure. That number is higher than expected by some hotel industry experts.

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$2 million: profit the hotel made between January and April, despite its original budgeting forecast estimating it would lose $2.1 million in the same period.

$8.2 million: food and beverage revenue during the same period, which was 37% more than expected, and accounted for 46% of the hotel’s revenue during the period.

44.4%: occupancy rate between January and April, compared with a 69.5% occupancy rate for comparable hotels.

2: Number of sons in charge of the hotel business since Trump entered the White House. He also vowed to take no hotel profits during his tenure, but he retained his ownership interest, allowing him to eventually profit from his hotels.

60 years: length of the lease the U.S. government signed in 2013 with a consortium owned by the President.

$270,000: Hotel charges—including rooms, catering, and parking—for some veterans groups that had been brought in to lobby Congress against a law allowing victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to sue Saudi Arabia. The bill—documented in lobbying reports—was footed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, three months before Trump traveled to Saudi Arabia on his first international trip. The White House did not respond to questions. The Saudi embassy did not respond to requests for comment.

13,200 square feet: Size of the Presidential Ballroom, designed by Ivanka—offering “lobbying groups and foreign entities,” says the Post, “more event space than any other luxury hotel in the city.”

0: Number of times Trump was mentioned in a program for a three-day event at the hotel, hosted by Fondazione Internazionale Menarini, an Italian medical foundation, for cancer doctors from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University Medical Center in Hamburg. The program listed the location as “Congress Center — Old Post Office Building.”

800: Number of attendees at The PenFed Foundation’s charity gala to benefit veterans. The group’s president, Tamara Darvish, insisted to the Post that the hotel choice was not political. “We are there to help veterans,” she said.

“Hundreds”: Number of banking leaders who attended a June 8 event at the hotel hosted by consulting giant Deloitte, as Congress discussed whether Dodd-Frank financial regulations should be rolled back. (Deloitte did not respond to questions about its decision to use the hotel.)

24 pages: Length of a report on the hotel called “Breach of a Lease: The Tale of the Old Post Office in the Swamp” by congressional Democrats, led by Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, a Democratic congressman from Oregon. The report accuses the General Services Administration of withholding documents about the Trump lease arrangements from the committee overseeing the agency. Trump has yet to name a new GSA administrator, who will oversee his company’s lease.

100: Number of people who took part in a May march to the hotel led by Donna Norton of MomsRising, a liberal network with more than 1 million members. “She said when her protest group arrived, the hotel staff was very polite in turning them away. ‘I think they’re getting used to it,’ she said.”

Meanwhile, the family is working on two new hospitality brands, including Scion, which is developing a hotel in Cleveland, Mississippi, and other places across the country, according to the Wall Street Journal and Vice News.

About the author

Alex is a contributing editor at Fast Company, the founding editor and editor at large of Motherboard at Vice, and a freelance writer and producer with a focus on the intersections of science, technology, media, politics, and culture.

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