Trump’s America: Hotel Hell at Trump’s Tower in Panama
The majority owner of a Trump International Hotel & Tower is desperately trying to rid the condo-hotel of any connection to Donald Trump.
I have seen the future of the Trump presidency. It features an eviction notice, a document shredder and a bunch of agitated people peppering each other with angry insults. Kinda like the White House on a calm day!
You’re probably still trying to make sense of Donald Trump’s crazed solution for all these mass shootings in schools — more guns in the classroom! Me, I’ve been gazing south, past Florida, to the Latin American nation of Panama, where the majority owner of the Trump International Hotel & Tower is desperately trying to rid the condo-hotel of any connection to Donald Trump.
No, Trump doesn’t actually own this “Trump” tower. He didn’t design or build it. He just slapped his name on the place and let his people run it, which they’ve been doing abysmally, it seems. Like a Trump, you might say.
Anyway, a Miami businessman named Orestes Fintiklis bought up 202 of the hotel’s 369 rooms at fire-sale prices last fall, noticing that hardly anyone in Panama wanted to stay somewhere named “Trump.” On Thursday, Fintiklis showed up at the failing hotel with an eviction notice, demanding the Trump Organization management team hand over the keys. They refused, locked themselves in an office and, from the sound of things in the hallway, started shoveling piles of paper into the shredding machine. The police were called. At one point, the power was turned off. There was a lot of yelling in the lobby and the hallways.
The uproar got so wild, it was almost as if Steve Bannon had come to town.
For now, the Trump people are holding on with their fingernails, and Fintiklis is back in court taking further steps to make them leave.
This isn’t happening only in Panama.
Since Trump became president, his name has been yanked off three other Trump hotels — in Toronto, Rio de Janeiro and Manhattan’s SoHo district. Panama will probably be next, though the Trump Hotel in Washington does seem to be thriving. Many of its customers are lobbyists and foreign governments eager to curry favor with the Trump administration.
A ballroom rental for an ambassadorship? That sounds fair, doesn’t it?
Metro columnist Ellis Henican is the best-selling author of a dozen books, including “TRUMPITUDE: The Secret Confessions of Donald’s Brain.” Join him on Twitter @henican.