(Photo by Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)
In a June 5 letter, the club’s Finance Director cited the “significant impact” caused by the county’s order on March 25, coinciding with the “busiest part of our season,” to shut parks and golf courses during the pandemic. Over $88,000 per month is paid for land leased from the county and its Department of Airports for the 27-hole property. The Trump club’s rent is paid through June, but the County Commission has already agreed to defer rent for other tenants.
The Trump Organization’s golf club in West Palm Beach, Fla. has asked Palm Beach County to defer some of the $88,338 monthly rent it pays to lease public land for the private club, citing hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic, The Palm Beach Post reported.
In a June 5 letter to the county, the club’s Finance Director, Ed Raymundo, cited the “significant impact” caused by the county’s order to shut parks and golf courses during the pandemic. The March 25 order coincided with the “busiest part of our season,” Raymundo wrote, leading to a “significant impact” on business.
“This mandate has resulted in the cancellation of events and forced the Club to close many of its amenities, leaving limited services available to our members,” Raymundo added. “In addition, with many New York-based members, the Governor’s most recent order requiring individuals traveling from the tri-state area to self-quarantine further hampers our operation.”
The county and its Department of Airports, which both hold leases on the 27-hole Trump International Golf Club on airport property, have taken no action on the club’s request for rent relief, according to county officials, The Post reported. The club has paid rent through June.
The Trump Organization signed a lease with the county in 1996 and 2002, after a long and controversial lawsuit over the land, The Post reported. The 99-year lease agreement requires The Trump Organization to make monthly payments that had increased over the years to $54,534 for the main 18-hole golf course and $33,804 for the club’s smaller, nine-hole course.
The Palm Beach County Commission has already agreed to defer the rent for other tenants, including cafes and coffee shops that operate at county parks and buildings, The Post reported.
Rent relief for tenants with more complex leases, like those The Trump Organization negotiated to build the 27-hole golf club, must be approved by the commission, The Post reported. According to the June 5 letter, the club is asking for rent relief similar to abatements already approved for other tenants.
The June 5 letter follows an e-mail that Raymundo sent to the county on March 25 — the day the county ordered parks and golf courses closed — inquiring how the county intended to handle the $88,338 monthly rent during the pandemic (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/rent-question-for-trump-organizations-florida-club-raises-special-issues/).
While Congress allocated funds to help the hospitality industry in the first coronavirus relief package, The Hill reported, Democrats included a provision barring the President or other administration officials from benefiting financially from the legislation.