Summary: Panama’s Trump International Hotel and Tower removed the TRUMP letters from its outside sign in an attempt to rebrand.
The majority owner of the Trump International Hotel and Tower had the words T-R-U-M-P removed from the outside the hotel in Panama. Majority owner Orestes Fintiklis, 39, ordered the removal of the words as a public display of their attempt to remove President Donald Trump’s family as managers of the property.
The Trump Organization will likely be filing legal action against Fintiklis, contending that they are still in control of the Trump Ocean Club, which is the organization’s only venture in Latin America. The two parties have been fighting over the hotel, causing it to be one of biggest problems for the organization. According to The New York Times, the parties have been fighting for nearly two weeks in the Panamanian courtrooms and ministry offices. The fight has also turned to a more physical display in the hotel lobby and corridors.
The fights at the hotel have been mostly verbal outcries and some pushing and shoving but the escalation has prompted an armed police presence. A number of government delegations like labor regulators, forensic specialists and a justice of the peace have also made appearances at the location.
Monday’s removal of the letters with a crowbar started with Fintiklis, court officials, and police officers arriving at the hotel with a court order from the Panama courts authorizing a change of administration. Fintiklis said, “This a purely a commercial dispute that just spun out of control and today this dispute has been settled by the judges and the authorities of this country. Today Panama has made us proud.”
Fintiklis is not a citizen of Panama, but stated in his latest news conference that he plans to apply now. He is currently a Cypriot citizen and manager of Miami-based private equity fund Ithaca Capital. He also played a musical rendition of “Accordeon,” a song about the fight against fascism, on the hotel’s baby grand piano in the lobby.
The Trump Organization has held a long-term contract over the management of the hotel. A statement from the organization explained that a Panamanian court order was authorizing “the appointment of a temporary, third party administrator to oversee the management of the property while the underlying dispute is being litigated.”
This is not the first hotel to distance itself from the Trump name. Hotels in Toronto and Manhattan removed the name last year. The Trump Organization was paid to give up their contracts over those hotels, which were suffering financially. Fintiklis contends that the organization was mismanaging the hotel and causing it to suffer as well.
While Donald Trump acts as President of the United States, he has passed day-to-day management responsibilities to his eldest sons Donald Jr. and Eric.
Panama struggled with authorizing the court order, knowing it was going against Donald Trump’s company, the President of the United States.
Do you think more organizations will try to distance themselves from the Trump name? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
To learn more about the Trump organization, read these articles:
- Donald Trump Can Use His Name in China
- Trump University Lawsuits Settle on $25 Million
- Trump Organization Fired from Managing Trump Place