Former president Donald Trump's golf course in Doonbeg, Ireland, posted a record loss of $4 million last year and laid off more than half of its employees.
"That red ink is likely a good indicator of just how poorly Trump’s broader, hospitality-focused business empire has fared during the pandemic," Mother Jones reported Wednesday, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic "has made a bad investment even worse."
The Doonbeg course — called Trump International Ireland — and two Scottish golf resorts "have become the financial heart of the Trump Organization, with Trump having invested several hundred million dollars in the properties," according to Mother Jones. But the three resorts have "never come close to profitability."
During Trump's presidency, the Doonbeg course received boosts from visits by his adult children and Vice President Mike Pence, the report states. "All those visits financially benefited Trump while costing American taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars to secure the property and house Secret Service details."
However, the Irish government’s COVID response shuttered Doonbeg for much of 2020. Although Doonbeg received the equivalent of $560,000 in COVID relief funds from the Irish government, the resort still laid off 118 of its 230 employees, according to a local news report.
"Trump’s golf resorts in the British Isles have high greens fees and cater almost exclusively to the kind of well-heeled international travelers who stayed home in 2020," Mother Jones reports. "The same forces were felt across the travel industry, and have put a strain on the ex-president’s most valuable assets: Before the pandemic, more than 77 percent of the Trump Organization’s revenues came from golf courses, hotels, or other resorts."