“It’s a very dispirited place,” Laurence Leamer, historian and author of Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump’s Presidential Palace, told MSNBC host Alex Witt on Saturday. He said members are “not concerned about politics and they said the food is no good”.
Mr Leamer said he spoke to a number of former members who “silently walked out” after Mr Trump left office.
Mr Trump moved to the Palm Beach, Florida, estate after his term ended last week.
But without the cachet of the sitting president of the United States working at the estate, guests are finding Mar-a-Lago lost a step.
Disgruntled members might lead to a smaller paycheck for Mr Trump.
When Mr Trump was president, many people paid up to US$200,000 (A$259,000) for Mar-a-Lago memberships, Mr Leamer pointed out, and he said they don’t think they’ll continue paying that price.
Mar-a-Lago has long been ridiculed by critics as a stodgy, stuffy club filled with Trump memorabilia – some of it fake.
Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel on Friday recounted a visit to the resort just before Mr Trump became president.
“You could not possibly exaggerate how comical it is,” Kimmel said on The Ringer’s The Bill Simmons Podcast.
“Everyone there is 100 years old.”
Kimmel told Simmons he went to the resort about six years ago to have dinner with Howard Stern, who lived near the property at the time.
He described the Mar-a-Lago attendees as “hunched-over people who are eating soft food” and he said the place is covered in photos of Mr Trump.
“It was just quiet and a terrible place,” Kimmel said.
“And now he lives in this terrible place.”
Mr Trump’s hotels and hospitality companies were hit particularly hard during the coronavirus pandemic, but sales at the Mar-a-Lago resort increased over the last year, from A$28 million to A$31 million.
But questions remain about whether he’ll be allowed to live there permanently, because it may violate his 1993 agreement with the town of Palm Beach.
“Even here, people don’t like him,” Mr Leamer said, referring to residents of Palm Beach – many of whom voted for Mr Trump in hopes of lower taxes and a booming stock market.
“It’s just another measure of how his power has declined.”
Source: 9News | World News