Hurricane Dorian is headed for Florida, and President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago and Trump Doral resorts in South Florida are within reach of the path that the National Weather Service was predicting Thursday evening.
The hurricane is projected to make landfall Monday afternoon as a Category 4 storm, and Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency in Florida. Thursday evening, Melbourne was at the center of the forecast cone. Mar-a-Lago is in Palm Beach, roughly 100 miles south of Melbourne. Trump Doral is about 180 miles south of Melbourne.
All employees of Mar-a-Lago aside from security have been sent home until the hurricane passes, a representative said. The club is currently closed until October for the off-season. At Trump Doral, pools and other amenities are closed while generators have been put in place to supply power if needed, a representative said.
While he joins DeSantis and other government officials in telling Florida to prepare, the president also announced he would cancel his trip to Poland in order to monitor the storm.
“It’s something very important for me to be here,” Trump said at a White House event establishing the U.S. space command. “The storm looks like it could be a very, very big one indeed.”
Some questioned on social media whether the decision to cancel the trip was tied to the president’s resorts’ locations within the cone. The Trump Organization could not be immediately reached for comment.
Others voiced concern that if either resort was hit by the storm, Trump would exploit those damages to reap benefits from insurance. In 2005, the president said he received a $17 million insurance payout for damages to Mar-a-Lago, but the Associated Press found little evidence that the damage matched the price tag.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell drew attention when she tweeted Thursday that she was “rooting for a direct hit” on Mar-a-Lago. On Friday, she deleted the tweet, apologizing “to all it offended.” She instead posted another tweet saying she wished she could believe Dorian would “shake up Trump’s climate change denial.”
Trump Doral recently entered the spotlight when the president announced that he was considering the resort for the location of the G-7 (Group of Seven) summit in 2020, renewing interest in a 2016 lawsuit that alleged the resort had bedbugs. Trump denied the allegations, calling them “a nasty rumor,” and said the resort was “perfectly located” for the G-7 summit.
Another landmark threatened by Dorian was Jeffrey Epstein’s “pedophile island.” Little Saint James Island narrowly escaped the brunt of the storm as it passed through the U.S. Virgin Islands.