Report: Court Evicts Trump Management Team from Panama Hotel

A man removes the word Trump off a marquee outside the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City. // Photo by AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco via Newscred

CNBC is reporting that a Panamanian court on Monday evicted the Trump management team from the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City.

Several media outlets are also reporting that hotel workers of the Trump Ocean Club  pried the letters “T-R-U-M-P” from the property shortly after the decision was made. 

According to the Associated Press (AP), however, the Trump Organization’s lawyers said Panamanian courts had made no determination on the underlying dispute — a management contract held by the Trump group that it claims is still valid — and had only appointed an interim management until an international arbitration panel rules on the issue. The Trump Organization didn’t say who the new management was or why the Trump name was removed from the hotel, according to the AP.

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According to CNN, it was the latest development in a dispute between the Trump organization and Orestes Fintiklis, a Miami-based investor who owns the majority of the units in the hotel. 

The fight has featured, among other things, Panamanian authorities storming the hotel and Fintiklis playing piano in the lobby as a way to declare victory, according to the CNN report. 

According to USA Today, since last year, Fintiklis has been leading a charge to fire Trump's company, which manages the property, initially on the basis of a contract dispute. 

Fintiklis then alleged that gross mismanagement by Trump’s staff and the deterioration of the Trump brand internationally meant keeping the property in Trump hands impossible, according to the USA Today report.

According to CNBC, when it was completed in 2011, the 70-floor, sail-shaped building was Trump's first international hotel venture — a complex including apartments and a casino in a waterfront building that has earned Trump between $30 million and $50 million. The Trump Hotel’s website had ceased offering direct bookings at the hotel by early Monday afternoon.

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