Donald Trump gives presidential boost to ticket sales at Mar-a-Lago events

Trump
President Donald Trump arrives aboard Air Force One at JFK International Airport in New York, May 4, 2017. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The draw of President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort has prompted a jump in ticket sales to events at the private members club.

At least 20% of the events held at the resort—dubbed the winter White House—have increased in size since Trump's inauguration, according to a report from The Washington Post, which found 45 organizers had paid to stage events at the venue since Trump's election victory.

And of those events, around 10 had increased in size and raised more money than in previous years.

"Now that you have all this security, it just creates [the idea], 'You're special by being there,' " Jennifer McGrath, from the charity Hearing the Ovarian Cancer Whisper, told The Post. "Now that it's the president's winter home, there's that great chance that he might pop into your event. And that's kinda good, too," she added.

The increase in interest about coveted events at Mar-a-Lago come following an increase in the cost of membership at the exclusive club, which hiked its fees from $150,000 to $200,000 at the beginning of 2017, following a fee increase from $100,000-$150,000 in July 2016.

Such financial gains coinciding with Trump's rise to power have prompted criticism from those who believe Trump and his family are profiting from the presidential office.

And last month the state department came under fire after it promoted Mar-a-Lago on its official website, eventually issuing an apology for doing so.

The original post read: "By visiting this 'winter White House,' Trump is belatedly fulfilling the dream of Mar-a-Lago's original owner and designer. After refurbishing the house and adding an events space, Trump opened the estate to dues-paying members of the public in 1995 as the Mar-a-Lago Club.

It added: "Post's dream of a winter White House came true with Trump's election in 2016. Trump regularly works out of the house he maintains at Mar-a-Lago and uses the club to host foreign dignitaries."

But after the post was slammed for promoting Trump's business with taxpayer money, the department issued an apology, stating: "The intention of the article was to inform the public about where the President has been hosting world leaders. We regret any misperception and have removed the post."

The private members club reportedly fills up whenever the president is in town, has hosted world leaders and influential business people since the Republican's inauguration.

But while a number of events benefitted from a boost in the number of ticket sales, and in some cases the cost of the tickets, not all organizers have enjoyed the Trump effect.

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute was forced to drop Mar-a-Lago as a venue for future events after holding a gala at the resort that prompted a backlash and saw funds raised fall by $50,0000 on previous years.

Donald Trump gives presidential boost to ticket sales at Mar-a-Lago events | U.S.
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