Donald Trump: The Art of the Fail
Can the newly declared presidential candidate get things done? If “things” is defined as “bankruptcy filings” then yes he can.
by Jeffrey Kanige and Alicia McElhaney
Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday, telling a crowd in New York that his wealth and success in business make him qualified to be leader of the free world. “That’s the kind of thinking our country needs,” he said, referring to his net worth of nearly $9 billion. “I’m really rich.”
Trump himself may be worth that much - and there is some debate over whether he actually is - but his name often doesn’t count for much. Especially in Atlantic City. Trump was a huge player there, starting in the 1980s, but is now merely a name on some casinos that he no longer owns. His casinos have filed for bankruptcy five times.
And the Trump name apparently isn’t worth much in Panama or Puerto Rico either. Properties bearing his name in those tropical locales are also in dire financial straits. Here is a list of the Trump-related leisure entities that have run into difficulty over the years.
Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc.
The company, which owns several Atlantic City casinos is the champion filer in the Trump empire with four trips to bankruptcy court. It went first in 1991, after the construction of the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. More filings followed in 2004 and 2009. The 2004 filing was blamed on competition from the Borgata and other Atlantic City properties. The 2009 case cited gaming competition from Pennsylvania and New Jersey’s partial ban on smoking as causes of its distress.
The most recent filing came last year and ended with Carl Icahn gaining 100% of the reorganized debtor’s equity.
The casino filed for bankruptcy in March 1992 and emerged that December as the Trump Marina. The property was sold to Tilman Fertita’s Landry’s Inc. in 2011 and is now called the Golden Nugget.
Newland International Properties Corp.
The development company filed for bankruptcy in April 2013, after building the Trump Ocean Club & International Tower in Panama City. Newland filed because it was having difficulties filling the condominiums and hotel rooms it planned to rent out. Newland cited the economic recession as the reason the rooms were empty.
Trump Marks Panama LLC, one of the company’s largest unsecured creditors (owed $15.3 million for commissions and expense reimbursements), was paid in full.
Coco Beach Golf & Country Club S.E.
The company, which operates the Trump International Golf Club in Puerto Rico, has not filed for bankruptcy but it has defaulted after failing to replenish an unscheduled draw from its debt reserve fund. The company cited “financial difficulties” as the reason for making the unscheduled draw. The property is not owned by Trump, but has a licensing agreement to use his name.
New York Military Academy
The New York Military Academy, a co-ed boarding school that Donald Trump attended, filed for bankruptcy on March 3. The school listed declining enrollment and failure to close a property sale as the reasons it filed. An official said the reorganization plan’s goal is to rehabilitate the school.
The school listed assets of about $10.5 million and liabilities of just under $11 million. That would be pocket change for a really rich guy worth, say, $9 billion. If only someone like that would step forward and help out.