Panama Court Evicts Trump Management from Hotel in Bitter Spat

Date: March 2018

Location: Panama City, Panama

Name: Was Trump Ocean Club ….now The Bahia Grand

Taking down the Trump name!

Owner: Orestes Fintiklis of Ithaca Capital Partners…Following the court ruling, Orestes Fintiklis, the owner of the hotel in Panama who has been fighting a legal battle to oust the Trump Organisation’s hotel management team, said a court had ended the fight.

“Today, this dispute has been settled by the judges and the authorities of this country,” he said, without giving further information. “Today, Panama has made us proud.”

Fintiklis bought 202 of the hotel’s 369 room units last year, assumed control of the hotel’s condominium owners association and quickly moved to kick out the Trump Organization.

“We are ALL losing money and it is getting worse. The only ill-deserved winner here is the [Trump Organization] who continues to clip management fees whilst our hotel is driven into the ground,” Fintiklis wrote in a letter to fellow hotel-room owners earlier this year.

The broader hotel market in Panama has collapsed amid over development and a slowdown in tourism. Average occupancy for luxury properties fell from 57.5 percent in 2012 to 40.3 percent for 2017, according to STR. But Trump Panama condo owners say their units have done even more poorly.

Fintiklis said that, in 58 units, the owners had lost so much money on rentals that they were refusing to pay their condo fees.

Management Co: Was Trump…A Panamanian court on Monday (March 5 2018) evicted the Trump management team from the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City, in an apparent victory for the hotel’s majority owner, who has fought to regain control of the property.

A few hours after a worker removed the Trump name from the property, the Trump Organisation said in a statement that a Panamanian court had ordered the appointment of a temporary third-party administrator to manage the hotel, adding that it believes no final legal determination has been made.

The Trump Organisation also said it was “fully confident” it would ultimately prevail in the legal battle.

The bitter dispute surrounding the Trump-branded hotel has shone a fresh light on the business dealings of the US President across the world. Various Trump-branded properties have dropped the name and Trump management teams since the President took office last year.

The Trump Organisation said that the spat will ultimately be settled by an arbitration panel under the International Chamber of Commerce.

When it was completed in 2011, the 70-floor, sail-shaped building was the future US president’s first international hotel venture, a complex including apartments and a casino in a waterfront building that has earned Trump between US$30 million (S$39.5 million) and US$50 million.

THPT Comment: OK what do we say about Mr Trump…Hope he’s a better president than he is as a hotelier!

First Seen: Straits Times