Trump presidency turning into a bonanza for Trump Organization as Mar-a-Lago resort doubles its initiation fee to $200,000

The New York Times reports: The initiation fee at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida — which the president himself has dubbed the Winter White House — has doubled to $200,000, after membership applications surged in the wake of Mr. Trump’s election, the head of membership there said.

Bernd Lembcke, the managing director at the Palm Beach, Fla., club, said the change in the initiation fee had been planned last fall, before the election, and that $200,000 had been the fee before 2010, when it was cut in half because of the recession.

But Mr. Lembcke, who has been at the club for 21 years, said that it also reflected the upswing in Mar-a-Lago’s popularity.

“We have had a sudden surge in requests,” he said, adding that new members must be recommended by someone who is already a member, as is the case at many private clubs.

Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a nonprofit group that promotes government ethics, said the move showed that Mr. Trump and his family intended to profit from his status as president. [Continue reading…]

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