Donald Trump and his wife Melania are spending the Thanksgiving holiday at the business mogul’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
Trump bought the estate for $10million in 1985 for his then wife Ivana. The resort was developed in the 1920s for heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post.
After he acquired the resort, Trump redeveloped the main house and created his own private quarters – decked out in gold.
Florida’s super-wealthy can become members of the club as long as they pay a $100,000 ‘initiation fee’ and $14,000 a year in dues.
In 1973, Merriweather Post died and she willed her resort to the US government as a winter holiday resort for the president and visiting foreign dignitaries, however, it was never used as such and was since sold to Trump.
The tycoon has said he intends spending a great deal of time at the resort, which will cause significant disruption to the nearby Palm Beach International Airport.
Trump has filed several lawsuits against the airport, claiming aircraft noise has been damaging his investment. However, this week, the Federal Aviation Authority have imposed strict restrictions on non-commercial flights operating anywhere near his home.
Also, the coastguard has warned boaters not to approach the estate while the president-elect is in residence.
Only scheduled commuter flights are allowed to approach the main runway in Palm Beach from the direction of Trump’s estate which is almost under the flight path.
Any pilots breaching the no-fly-zone face prosecution or even being shot down.
Expensive furniture from around the world was imported during the building’s last major renovation.
Oil paintings adorn the walls, and gaudy chandeliers hang from the ceilings.
Unsurprisingly, the property has four posted beds.
The 17-acre country club is described as the center of the Palm Beach social scene.
According to Trump’s website: ‘Our superb location on Ocean Boulevard offers gentle breezes, towering palm trees and endless sunshine, while an address between Lake Worth and the Atlantic Ocean allows for private yet convenient access.
‘The main house and adjacent buildings have been meticulously restored, showcasing the original Spanish style and carved coral architectural details that complement the perfectly manicured lawns and expansive grounds. It is singularly unique, exquisite, and only for the most discerning visitors.
‘The world famous Mar-a-Lago is the very best of Palm Beach.’
Initially, Trump had wanted to sub-divide the estate and build 10 mini-mansions before opening his exclusive club – which is thought to be worth $100million.
Yet, when he arrived, wealthy locals did not welcome the brash businessman.
He faced a court battle over an 80ft flagpole at the resort which held a massive American flag. Trump’s foundation was ordered to pay $100,000 to veteran charities after installing the pole in 2006 without appropriate permission.
SOURCE: DARREN BOYLE