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Video: Watch: The demolition of Trump’s hotel and casino in Atlantic City

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Watch: The demolition of Trump’s hotel and casino in Atlantic City

The last vestige of the legacy of former President Donald Trump in Atlantic City, NJ, ended on Wednesday with the implosion of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino. It was once the premier gambling destination in the region.

[cheering] [noisemakers] “With the same energy, the same efforts and the same passion that we had to dismantle this building, we will have the same energy, the same efforts and the same passion to work with them, to stand against them to build something that we could all be proud. As I have said many times, this is not about politics. This is not about Donald Trump. This is not about President Trump. Because quite frankly, the folks here in the big city of Atlantic City, we knew how the presidency was going to play out on the national stage because we’re one of the cities that know him the best.

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After presidency, Trump Hotel in Washington is a limited edition

WASHINGTON – Congress was in session. The White House has been buzzing with activity for the past few days.

That would normally mean a busy time for the 263-room Trump International Hotel, which is just a few blocks away. But on two evenings this week, the famous lobby that has attracted so many lobbyists, White House officials and Trump supporters over the past four years was largely vacant. The waiters and staff outnumbered the customers.

Part of it, of course, is the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected hotels and restaurants in Washington and across the country. Current regulations limit indoor dining capacity to 25% in Washington.

Until last Friday, indoor dining had been banned. The hotel lobby, as well as its two restaurants, were closed, although the hotel itself remained open to a very limited number of checking-in customers. The bar was still closed this week.

Tuesday evening, in a section of the lobby with dozens of tables served by the Benjamin Bar and Lounge, there were eight to eleven customers.

“It’s a tough time with Covid,” said one of the many hotel lobby patrons, who was there for a drink. She said she was working on energy related issues in an office across the street. She refused to give her name.

David Burke’s BLT Prime – a steakhouse in the lobby mezzanine – had several tables of customers on Tuesday night. And Sushi Nakazawa, a third hotel restaurant, was to reopen wednesday evening.

Mickael Damelincourt, the hotel manager, was optimistic as he walked the lobby on Tuesday.

“We are doing very well, given the current restrictions,” he said. “We look forward to welcoming many travelers to Washington in the coming months.”

Mr Damelincourt personally greeted what appeared to be the only guest who arrived to check in for more than two hours on Tuesday evening. The elevators on the ground floor of the hotel saw little traffic during this time.

A Brioni Bespoke store, selling bespoke suits for thousands of dollars, was also empty except for the store clerk, who straightened up when a reporter peered inside. Large carts carrying additional supplies from Veuve Clicquot were to the side of the hall, intact.

A financial disclosure report former President Donald J. Trump released last week and covering 2020 showed a 63% drop in revenue at the Trump Hotel in Washington, falling to $ 15.1 million. In an interview last week, Eric Trump, the son of the former president and executive vice president of the Trump organization, attributed the loss of income to the pandemic and the city’s policies forcing the closure of restaurants and the bar.

Across the street from the hotel, Fogo de Chão, a Brazilian steakhouse, was doing a lot more business.

“People were eager to eat Brazilian steak,” said Armando Tello, the manager.

The only significant Trump allies in sight inside the hotel over the past two nights were on large televisions showing Fox News and CNN in the nearly empty lobby.

“Breaking news: Senators are sworn in for Trump’s historic second impeachment trial,” the chyron said on CNN’s screen on Tuesday.

Mr. Trump’s family tried in 2019 to sell the hotel lease in Washington. The historic building – the second tallest in the city – is owned by the federal government and is still known as the Old Post Office, from when it served as the agency’s headquarters. A contract sets the rent for the building at approximately $ 270,000 per month.

There was at least some good news for Mr. Trump last week. The Supreme Court dismissed two lawsuits brought against him early in his tenure as president, claiming that Mr. Trump illegally accepted payments from foreign governments at the hotel and other places he owns, a violation of the clause on the emoluments of the Constitution.

With Mr. Trump now removed from his post, the Supreme Court ruled the prosecution moot.

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After the presidency, the Trump Hotel in Washington is a limited edition.

Congress was in session. The White House has been buzzing with activity for the past few days.

That would normally mean a busy time for the 263-room Trump International Hotel, which is just a few blocks away. But on two recent evenings this week, the famous lobby that has drawn so many lobbyists, White House officials and Trump supporters over the past four years was largely vacant. The waiters and staff outnumbered the customers.

Part of that, of course, is the continuing coronavirus pandemic, which has affected hotels and restaurants in Washington and across the country. Current regulations limit indoor dining capacity to 25% in Washington.

Until Friday, indoor dining had been banned. The hotel lobby, as well as its two restaurants, were closed, although the hotel itself remained open to a very limited number of checking-in customers. The bar was still closed this week.

Tuesday evening, in a section of the lobby with dozens of tables served by the Benjamin Bar and Lounge, there were between eight and 11 customers.

“It’s a tough time with Covid,” said one of the hotel’s many lobby customers, who was there for a drink. She said she was working on energy related issues in an office across the street. She refused to give her name.

David Burke’s BLT Prime – a steakhouse in the lobby mezzanine – had several tables of customers on Tuesday night. And Sushi Nakazawa, a third hotel restaurant, should reopen wednesday evening.

Mickael Damelincourt, the hotel manager, was optimistic as he walked the lobby on Tuesday.

“We are doing very well, given the current restrictions,” he said. “We look forward to welcoming many travelers to Washington in the coming months.”

A Brioni Bespoke store, selling bespoke suits for thousands of dollars, was also empty except for the store clerk, who straightened up when a reporter peered inside. Large carts carrying additional supplies from Veuve Clicquot were to the side of the lobby, intact.

A financial disclosure report Mr. Trump released last week and covering 2020 showed a 63% drop in revenue at the Trump Hotel in Washington, falling to $ 15.1 million. In an interview last week, Eric Trump, the son of the former president and executive vice-president of the Trump Organization, attributed the loss of income to the pandemic and the city’s policies forcing restaurants and bar to close. .

Across the street from the hotel, Fogo De Chão, a Brazilian steakhouse, was doing a lot more business.

Mr. Trump’s family tried in 2019 to sell the hotel lease in Washington. The historic building – the second tallest in the city – is owned by the federal government and is still known as the Old Post Office, from when it served as the agency’s headquarters. A contract sets the rent for the building at approximately $ 270,000 per month.

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At the end of his term, Trump faces further questions about payments at his hotel

WASHINGTON – It was a month before Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, and one of his aides had a tricky question: Wasn’t there going to be a backlash when it was learned that the inauguration had spent the donor money at Mr. Trump’s Washington hotel, even if other places cost much less or even be free?

“These are events in honor of PE at his hotel, and one of them is with and for family and close friends,” wrote Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, then event planner for Mr. Trump, in an email to a colleague in December 2016, referring to Mr. Trump as president-elect and saying she raised the issue to “express my concern.”

As Mr. Trump’s presidency draws to a close, expenses like these are under new legal scrutiny in the form of a civil case being pursued by the District of Columbia attorney general.

At the heart of the matter is a question – whether Mr. Trump and his family have profited from his public role, sometimes to the detriment of taxpayers, competitors and donors – which has been a lingering theme of his tenure in the White House. .

More than 200 companies, special interest groups and foreign governments frequented Mr. Trump’s properties during his presidency while reaping profits from him and his administration. Sixty of them spent $ 12 million on his properties in the first two years of his tenure.

The Trump family business has received millions of dollars in payments from the Secret Service, the State Department, and the U.S. military to Trump properties across the country and around the world. The president has visited his properties for at least 417 days since taking office, sometimes with world leaders. And he and his affiliated political committees have spent more than $ 6.5 million in campaign funds at his hotels and other businesses since 2017, including a $ 1 million final in the weeks leading up to the election last month.

In the ongoing trial, Washington Attorney General Karl A. Racine argues that Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee illegally overpaid his family business by $ 1.1 million for events held at the city’s Trump International Hotel in January 2017. Ivanka Trump was filed in the case last week.

Questions about spending, influence and lobbying around the 2017 inauguration also caught the attention of federal prosecutors in two different offices in New York City, with charges against at least one donor.

But despite all the attention on the matter, Mr. Trump is poised to step down without a clear resolution of the limits there should be on a president’s ability to profit from his public role.

Lawsuits by nonprofit groups and attorneys general in Washington and Maryland claiming Mr. Trump violated the Constitution’s so-called emoluments clause were never resolved during his tenure and now risk being sacked once he is out of power.

“It’s more than frustrating,” said Laurence H. Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard, who was involved in the emoluments dispute. “The most serious questions regarding the abuse of presidential power and the use of the presidency as a center of personal gain and profit remain unanswered. The wheels of justice are clearly turning slower than some would have hoped. “

The issue played out most prominently at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, which opened in late October 2016, two weeks before Mr. Trump’s election.

The hotel became a focal point for lobbyists, White House aides, Congressional Republicans and hundreds of others who were looking for a way to impress Mr. Trump, even though the tax records obtained by New York Times show that the property continued to lose money through at least 2018.

The Trump family tried to sell their hotel lease last year before recovering momentum when the coronavirus pandemic struck. With revenues certainly declining this year, Mr. Trump will have to decide whether to relist the property after he leaves, or perhaps hope that its value will rise if it shows up again.

“Fifty percent of people still won’t enter the hotel,” said William W. Moyer, a hotel broker, noting that many potential customers who were not Mr. Trump’s supporters have avoided the property. “And the other 50% wanted to go. You’re not going to turn people’s loyalty on or off like a switch. “

The case Mr. Racine is pursuing is progressing after spending several years collecting evidence about the arrangements between the Presidential Inauguration Committee and the hotel.

Mr. Trump’s inauguration was unlike any other in American history: he raised more than $ 107 million, double the previous record, as corporate donors poured tens of millions of dollars into the committee inaugural. Spending also proceeded at a record pace.

At the Trump Hotel, the grand opening committee and guests attending the grand opening were already planning to fill most of the 263 rooms, which Mr. Racine said meant ballroom space would typically be offered. for free or at least with a significant discount.

But when the hotel initially asked the inaugural committee to pay $ 450,000 a day to rent the ballrooms and other common spaces, it prompted immediate questions from Ms Wolkoff, who has since broken up with the Trump family, and Rick. Gates, then the inaugural committee. vice president, who would then plead guilty to the charges arising from the special advocate’s investigation.

“First, the cost itself seems pretty high compared to other property buyouts for the week,” Gates wrote in an email to Ivanka Trump 38 days before the inauguration. “Second, I’m a little worried about the perspective of the PIC paying Trump Hotel high rent and the media making a big deal out of it,” he added, referring to the presidential inauguration committee.

Ms Trump wrote to Mickael C. Damelincourt, the hotel’s general manager, and asked him to call Mr Gates to negotiate a better deal for the inaugural committee. “It should be a fair market rate,” Ms. Trump said in a follow-up email, which quickly led to a new offer of $ 175,000 per day.

Ms. Wolkoff nonetheless expressed concerns.

“In my opinion, the maximum rental fee should be $ 85,000 per day,” she replied to Mr. Gates and Ms. Trump in an email where she also noted that other properties, like the train station Union, had offered their spaces for the inauguration for free.

This series of emails – filed in court documents as part of the trial – is at the heart of the case that Mr. Racine, a Democrat, is pursuing.

The inaugural committee paid $ 220,000 for the hotel rooms, including $ 75,259 to rent the so-called Trump Townhouse, marketed as an ultra-luxurious suite.

Two of the days the inaugural committee paid the hotel $ 175,000 to rent the ballroom, no event used it, according to the lawsuit. And on the third day, while using the ballroom for a lunch – again paying $ 175,000 – another nonprofit had only paid $ 5,000 to rent the same presidential ballroom space for a event related to the inauguration that morning.

The committee also paid the hotel for costs associated with a “friends and family” event for Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. that their father was not scheduled to attend. The inauguration staff were so uncomfortable sponsoring the rally that they tried to cancel it, court documents have shown. But Mr. Damelincourt opposed it.

“Rick… just heard that the Friday night reception had been canceled.” Is it correct? Mr. Damelincourt wrote. “Hard for us if it’s like it’s a lot of income.” The event was then postponed and took place the night Mr. Trump was sworn in.

Ivanka Trump was questioned for five hours last week about it, in one of a series of depositions that also included Mr. Damelincourt and Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a major donor to Mr. Trump who was chairman of the inaugural committee . . Ms Wolkoff will be examined under oath this week and Mr Gates this month.

After her testimony, Ivanka Trump condemned the investigation, as did her brother Eric Trump, who oversees the hotel’s operations.

“It’s a game of political vendetta,” Eric Trump said in an interview, echoing his sister, who said on twitter that the case was “another politically motivated display of retribution and waste of taxpayer money.”

So far, District of Columbia Superior Court Judge José M. López has sided with the attorney general, rejecting a motion by the Trump Organization and the inaugural committee to dismiss the case. Judge López has allowed the parties to go ahead with depositions and other so-called findings until March to prepare for a possible trial.

The civil action brought by Mr. Racine is distinct from two separate cases raising constitutional questions regarding the intersection of Mr. Trump’s public role and his activities. The two cases focusing on the Constitution’s emoluments clause will be on more fragile ground once he leaves office, lawyers involved in the cases have said.

A Federal District Court judge ruled in one of the emoluments lawsuits in March 2018 that Maryland and the District of Columbia had the right to continue their cases challenging whether Mr. Trump’s businesses could accept payments from other governments. And for the first time, the court defined what an emolument is, accepting the broader definition advocated by Maryland and the District that it represented just about any payment from a foreign government to the president’s businesses. instead of a payment made to the president explicitly in exchange for some official action he would then take, as he had argued.

But one of the remedies sought by their lawsuit was an order directing the president to stop accepting those payments. Once he leaves office, this result will indeed be achieved, which may undermine the matter.

“We are having high-level discussions on the viability and survival of the issue,” Racine said of the emoluments case.

The future of the Trump Hotel in Washington is also unresolved.

The hotel bar is open again after closing in the spring when the virus reached its peak. But traffic is still very slow, in part because the hotel limits entry to only those with reservations due to virus restrictions.

Zach Everson, who runs an online newsletter that tracks hotel activities, said his fate could be in part determined by how much of an energy broker Mr. Trump remains.

“Any business that is backed in part by people who want to stand in its favor, once you take the official power that it had to grant that favor, I don’t know how they can keep it going,” Mr. Everson. “But with Donald Trump, he has already been able to pull a rabbit out of the hat.”

White House affairs were still coming up on Friday.

Jason Miller, a Trump campaign aide, showed up at lunchtime without his name on the list. He told a security guard at the hotel entrance that he was there for a meeting with attorneys Eric Hershmann and Justin Clark, two other assistants to Mr. Trump.

For a while, Mr. Miller was barred from entering.

“I work for the president,” he told the security guard, before finally being let in.

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The lawsuit claiming that the inaugural committee overpaid a Trump hotel is moving forward as evidenced by Ivanka Trump.

Ivanka Trump testified in a closed-door deposition on Tuesday in a lawsuit filed in January by the District of Columbia attorney general, saying President Trump’s inaugural committee overpaid the Trump International Hotel in 2017.

The deposition is part of a series now underway after Attorney General Karl A. Racine of Washington, a Democrat, succeeded in pushing back a September effort by lawyers on the Trump inauguration committee and the Trump organization to close the case, which was pending in federal court in Washington.

Others filed to date include Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a major donor to Mr. Trump and chairman of the inaugural committee, and Mickael Damelincourt, general manager of Trump International Hotel in Washington.

The lawsuit claims Ms Trump was told before the inauguration in January 2017 that the initial amount the hotel intended to charge the nonprofit groundbreaking committee – $ 450,000 per day – was considered too high .

Mr Damelincourt then lowered the proposed fee to $ 175,000 per day for the rental of the hotel’s presidential ballroom, but documents suggest it was even more than some staff thought reasonable.

Mr. Racine’s lawsuit says that even with this lower price, the inaugural committee “violated district law by operating a non-profit organization to engage in personal transactions.” No details of the deposition were released. Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former Trump family aide who helped organize the inauguration, is expected to file her statement next week.

The lawsuit brought by Mr. Racine is a civil matter. It is separate from an investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, who investigated the inaugural donors, who raised and spent at least twice as much as its predecessors, a total of more than $ 107 million. dollars.

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The newest hotel equipment? Air cleaned by viruses

“In a transient environment, like a hotel, motel, or dormitory, you don’t know who was there before you and what their health was,” said Wes Davis, director of technical services at Air Conditioning Contractors of America, a trade association, adding that good housekeeping is a top priority in such places. “When it comes to other things like UV exposure or ionization, every little bit helps, but I’m not sure any of them are the perfect solution. It’s more like a concert.

Throughout the summer, the Madison Beach Hotel, part of the Hilton Curio hotel collection in Madison, Connecticut, has used its outdoor spaces for dining and even hosting meetings in tents. But with the approach of colder weather, HVAC contractors installed an air purification system that uses UV light and ionized hydrogen peroxide in most of the hotel’s public spaces, including the indoor restaurant. and meeting rooms. The spa treatment rooms each have their own portable air purification system.

“We wanted to create an environment as safe as possible,” said John Mathers, general manager of the hotel, adding that each room has its own closed HVAC system that does not mix with the others and therefore does not require additional purification. . . “The air recirculated in your room is your air.”

But many hotels bring in-room units for added assurance. In Rhode Island, rooms at the Weekapaug Inn and Ocean House, both run by Ocean House Management, have Molekule air purifiers that destroy pollutants and viruses at a rate greater than 99%, according to the group. of independent testing Aerosol Research and Engineering Laboratories.

Larger units have recently been added to restaurants and public spaces, and portable units have become a bestseller, starting at around $ 500, in the Ocean House gift shop.

Decisions about installing air purification systems tend to happen at the property or ownership level, rather than at the brand level. But Hilton has AtmosAir’s bipolar ionization air purification systems in its Five Feet to Fitness gyms, more than 100 rooms in 35 hotels that double as mini gyms with weights, indoor bikes and meditation chairs.

Many hotels have a long history of offering travelers anti-allergic or wellness rooms with improved purification systems. Pure Wellness has its Pure Room technology that claims to remove viruses, bacteria, and fungi, including air filters that are effective enough to trap coronavirus, in more than 10,000 rooms around the world.

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The lawsuit claiming the inaugural committee overpaid a Trump hotel is moving forward with Ivanka Trump’s deposition.

Ivanka Trump testified in a closed-door deposition on Tuesday in a lawsuit filed in January by the District of Columbia attorney general, saying President Trump’s inaugural committee overpaid the Trump International Hotel in 2017.

The deposition is part of a series now underway after Attorney General Karl A. Racine of Washington, a Democrat, succeeded in pushing back an effort in September by lawyers on the Trump inauguration committee and the Trump organization to have the case, which was pending federal court in Washington, dismissed.

Others filed to date include Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a major donor to Mr. Trump and chairman of the inaugural committee, and Mickael Damelincourt, general manager of Trump International Hotel in Washington.

The lawsuit claims Ms Trump was told before the inauguration in January 2017 that the initial amount the hotel intended to charge the nonprofit groundbreaking committee – $ 450,000 per day – was considered too high .

Mr Damelincourt then lowered the proposed fee to $ 175,000 per day for the rental of the hotel’s presidential ballroom, but documents suggest it was even more than some staff thought reasonable.

Mr. Racine’s lawsuit says that even with this lower price, the inaugural committee “violated district law by operating a non-profit organization to engage in personal transactions.” No details of the deposition were released. Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former Trump family aide who helped organize the inauguration, is expected to file her statement next week.

The lawsuit brought by Mr. Racine is a civil matter. It is separate from an investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, who investigated the inaugural donors, who raised and spent at least twice as much as its predecessors, a total of more than $ 107 million. dollars.

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CHLA publishes health standards for hotel meetings and events in California

The California Hotel and Lodging Association (CHLA) today unveiled its new set of recommended health and safety protocols ‘Clean + Safe Guidance for Meetings and Events’ for hotels operating amid COVID-19 .

CHLA’s new guidance incorporates recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DCD), California Department of Public Health, and Cal / OSHA and should be considered in addition to the CHLA resource ‘Clean + Safe Guide to hotel industry ‘which is geared towards hoteliers serving individual travelers.

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“With our meeting protocols, California hotels will be ready to host safe one-on-one meetings when state and county health officials allow, hopefully soon,” said Lynn S. Mohrfeld, CHLA president and CEO. “California hotels did an outstanding job protecting guests and employees when they reopened for tourism in June and we are confident that our meeting guide will similarly ensure the well-being of attendees.”

The 11-page guidance document outlines the steps to properly plan ahead, implement improved communications, and embrace adaptability, as hotels begin to personalize offerings for “group” clients such as corporations, businesses, associations, charities, meetings. religious and others.

The new standards encompass operational adjustments that aim to prevent any potential viral transmission, including electronic registration, attendee arrival procedures, increased reliance on contactless presentation technology, breaks to disinfect spaces, use of multiple rooms for a event only, assigned seats, and contactless and cashless transactions.

For more information, visit calodging.com.

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