Trump International Hotel and Tower

Trump Organization Suffers Legal Setback in Panama City Dispute

Shoving matches and piano playing characterized the disagreement over Trump Organization management of Latin American property.

The Trump Organization appears to have lost control of its only property in Latin America. After a disagreement with Orestes Fintiklis, the majority owner of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Panama City, a Panamanian court allowed the appointment of a temporary, third-party administrator to take over management of the hotel from the Trump Organization until litigation determines a final outcome to the business dispute. According to The New York Times,  Orestes Fintiklis has accused the Trump Organization of incompetent management and is suing the hotel for $15 million.

The dispute over the Panama City property has been characterized by shoving matches in the lobby, officials from the Trump Organization refusing to leave the property, and Fintiklis playing patriotic songs on the hotel’s piano.

This is the third property overseen by the Trump Organization to run into problems with its partners in the last six months.

An unofficial boycott by major league sports teams is reported to have hurt the Trump SoHo Hotel so much that the owner of the 46-story property, CIM Group, has negotiated a way out of the partnership with the Trump Organization and will rebrand the property by the end of the year. The sports team snub began after the 2016 election when LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers refused to stay in the hotel, and since then other sports teams including the Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards, and Houston Rockets have declared Trump hotels to be off limits. According to a Washington Post story at least 17 other pro sports teams will no longer stay at Trump hotels.

The luxury property, located on Spring Street in lower Manhattan, offers 391 guest rooms, 12,000 square feet of meeting space, and an outdoor swimming pool with waterfall. As well as the loss of celebrity guests from the sports world, the hotel is reported to have suffered staffing problems as employees left due to the president’s comments on immigration.

Trump SoHo is the latest Trump hotel to rebrand since the 2016 election. In June, the Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto ended an agreement with the Trump Organization to manage the hotel and condominium development and rebranded the property the St. Regis, Toronto.

Other properties in the Trump portfolio have made attempts to rebrand. The mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, has said, “Trump’s name and brand have no more place on Vancouver’s skyline than his ignorant ideas have in the modern world.” Robertson, the premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark, and 50,000 Vancouver residents have unsuccessfully petitioned the Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver to remove the Trump name.  

The Trump Organization still manages U.S. hotels in Hawaii, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, Florida, and Washington, D.C.




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