But the projected loss turned into a $1.97 million profit in four months, primarily after he became president and foreign dignitaries and the big money folks started staying at the hotel that charges the highest rates in Washington, DC.
Even though the hotel is rarely occupied, as in an average of 42% of rooms are unoccupied, its still managed to post an enormous profit.
The hotel, which opened last fall, has been working to make a name for itself in downtown Washington and the $4.1 million improvement over original projections proves it is succeeding. Trump gets $652.98 on an average nightly stay at his hotel and those who stay there include some of his billionaire cabinet members while his inner circle pay high prices at the restaurant and bars. The profitability of an upscale hotel typically peaks at an occupancy rate of around 78%, according to recent industry research.
Trump handed over management of the Trump Organization to his two eldest sons upon taking office, but the D.C. hotel has struck a chord among many Trump critics, with many saying owning the building violates the emoluments clause of the Constitution. But he retained his ownership interest, allowing him to eventually profit from the holdings, against the advice of the government's top ethics official.
Of his 202 days in office, Trump has spent 65 days at his properties, majority at his golf properties. As GQ and WaPo have both recently reported, Trump International has emerged as the hottest spot in town for conservative politicians, pundits, and donors exiled in a heavily democratic city to hang out and drink wine served in spoons.
The only divisions of the hotel that didn't churn a profit were retail, parking, and the Spa by Ivanka Trump. As now a White House appointee, that raises serious ethical questions. She also retained her stake in the hotel and reported $2.4 million in hotel-related revenue from its opening to June.
"We are very proud of the success of the project", said the president's son Eric Trump to the Post in an email, who took over management along with his older brother Donald Jr.
In accordance with the clause, Trump has promised to give the US treasury any profits that come from foreign governments.
The Trump International's performance to date comes despite the fact that its rooms are more often empty than its competitors', meaning there is room to grow its profits. It posted an occupancy rate of 42.3 percent, compared with almost 70 percent in the industry.