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Trump-branded tourist sites see declining revenues: report

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Concessions that bear the Trump name have had declining attendance since the 2016 election

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The Trump Organization, the development firm owned by President Donald Trump, has plenty of real estate investments, but its name is also very visibly on four prominent tourist attractions in New York City: two ice-skating rinks and the carousel in Central Park, and a golf course near the Whitestone Bridge in the Bronx.

And according to a new report in the New York Times, the Trump name—often emblazoned in large letters on the company’s holdings—may be affecting tourism to those popular spots.

In an analysis of visitor numbers from before Trump’s campaign for president, and in the years since the election, the Times found that attendance was down at all four of those properties; in the case of the Trump Wollman Rink, Central Park’s iconic ice-skating venue, revenues have dropped five percent.

Anecdotally, workers at those sites have also reported tension over Trump’s name; a Central Park tour guide told the Times that “a fight once broke out between two visitors over Mr. Trump.”

Tourist destinations aren’t the only Trump-branded properties that have seen a decline in interest since the 2016 election: A recent analysis by CityRealty found that apartments in Trump buildings (such as Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, or Trump World Tower near the United Nations) have seen their values drop as newer luxury towers have seen theirs rise. (In fairness, the fact that Trump properties are older and less in tune with the current whims of the market may be a factor there.) A quick glance at StreetEasy shows that while several properties at Trump Tower are currently in contract, only two sales have closed in 2018.

Elsewhere, the Trump name has been removed from other properties, including the former Trump Soho hotel/condo, now known as the Dominick. On the Upper West Side, residents of the Trump Palace condo have taken legal action to get the organization’s name removed from their building.

The city may try to take things a step further with these Trump-owned concessions: After Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight federal crimes, Mayor Bill de Blasio “asked city lawyers to determine whether the case could allow the city to void the Trump Organization’s licenses to run the four city-owned facilities,” per the Times. The legality of that move, however, is unclear.

A Trump Organization spokesperson dismissed the De Blasio administration’s inquiries as “absurd.”

We have been a terrific partner for New York City, we have been very proud to be associated with these incredible, iconic properties, and we look forward to continuing our relationship,” the spokesperson told the Times.