That didn’t stop the president and his advisors from making frequent visits to the hotel, and it didn’t stop conservative groups from hosting numerous fundraisers and events there. Over the course of the year, the hotel’s sprawling, palatial lobby became the place to be seen for young Republicans, campaign alums, Trump-loving tourists, and general rubber-neckers. All this is despite prices that might make fiscal conservatives blanche; a small bottle of Evian water from room service runs $9, and chicken caesar salad clocks in at $30.
And while the hotel industry nationally saw stagnant room rates –– that’s according to analysis from the STR Global research firm –– Trump Washington hiked its rates in the months after the Inauguration, per the Wall Street Journal, which generated significantly more revenue than the hotel had predicted. Bjorn Hanson, a professor focused on tourism and hospitality at New York University, told The Daily Beast that luxury hotels typically operate at a cash flow loss in their first two years doing business. But the opposite was the case for Trump Hotel in Washington.
The hotel initially expected to lose $2.1 million in the first four months of 2017. Instead, according to the Washington Post, it raked in $1.97 million in profits.