President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach Club, Mar-a-Lago, is again at the center of a hot debate. This time the topic is the enormous expense of securing the Club while the Commander in Chief is in residence.
Reports from multiple agencies are saying that due to the costs of his estate’s protection, Trump is on track to spend more travel dollars in one year of his presidency than Barack Obama did in all eight of his.
The cost cost of each trip the President takes varies widely by reports, but the range of expense for guarding Mar-a-Lago is still impressive: between 1 million and 6 million dollars per stay.
A large chunk of those costs are absorbed by the U.S. Coastguard, a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces which is seeing its budget cut by President Trump by 2.4 percent, or $267 million. But they will not be able to trim their budget when it comes to securing Mar-a-Lago and the President.
According to the Washington Post, due to the rare location and position of Mar-a-Lago, the Coast Guard has to deploy patrol boats, cutters, helicopters, and anti-terror specialists from across the country. This adds up to about $1 million per visit.
The property also becomes a “zone of temporary flight restrictions” when the President is on site.
Trump has spent 7 weekends in the first 6 months of his presidency at Mar-a-Lago.
Here are more details on the President’s Winter Home:
Mar-a-Lago is a unique property located on exclusive Palm Beach, FL. Listed as a National Historic Landmark, it was built from 1924 to 1927 by Post Cereal Company heiress and socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post. The extensive compound is surrounded by both the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway to the west. The barrier-island property features a 62,500 square feet main house. Upon her death in 1977, Post bequeathed the super-mansion to the National Park Service, hoping that one possible use would be as a “Winter White House”.
Due to overwhelmingly high costs of maintenance and other restrictions, an Act of Congress returned the ownership of Mar-a-Lago to the Post Foundation in 1981.
Trump purchased the property in 1985, restoring the original structures and adding extensively to the estate with a 20,000-square-foot ballroom.
Mar-a-Lago boasts 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms, 12 fireplaces, and three bomb shelters, five clay tennis courts and a waterfront pool.
The club, which has a $200,000 initiation fee and $14,000 per year dues, has a cap of 500 paying members.