Panama Hotel Removes Trump's Name


The Trump Organization, which appears to have lost control of the management of the hotel in a bitter property dispute, at least temporarily, said it was "fully confident" it would prevail in the legal battle.

Fintiklis added the ordeal "was purely a commercial dispute that just spun out of control". Fintiklis, now based in Miami, purchased 202 of the 369 room units last, according to the Post report, and took control of the condo association there.

When he went to deliver the notice to the Trump Organization, he said he was "pushed and shouted at" by the organization's security outfit, the news wire reported.

Last week, the Panamanian government opened an official inquiry into the ongoing dispute. The management contract held by the Trump group is still valid, it claims, and the courts had only appointed an interim management until an global arbitration panel rules on the issue.

The Trump Hotel's website had ceased offering direct bookings at the hotel by early Monday afternoon.

The move put an end to a 12-day dispute between the Trump Organization and Orestes Fintiklis, a majority owner of the hotel who wanted to scrub the property of the company and its brand.

Trump Hotels last week accused Mr Fintiklis of "fraud" and using "mafia-style tactics" to force its administration staff out of the disputed building.

For weeks, Trump Hotels staff had refused to follow Fintiklis' termination and eviction orders.

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"Our investment has no future so long as the hotel is managed by an incompetent operator whose brand has been tarnished beyond fix", Orestes wrote to his fellow hotel owners in a January email obtained by the AP.

Now, the Trump Hotels brand operates 11 properties in its portfolio after hotels in Toronto and NY similarly voted to step away from the brand recently.

These words are not to be taken lightly-the Trump Organization's management team has shown that it is not willing to vacate the property without a fight.

A legal complaint filed by Fintiklis said that, late that same evening, he and others in his party witnessed Trump's management team destroying hotel documents, which Trump officials have denied.

In court filings, the Trump Organization called Fintiklis' effort a "design to wrongfully seize control over the hotel property". His aim was to oust the Trump Organization, which has managed the hotel since its 2011 opening.

The fight ended quietly when a Panamanian judicial official accompanied by police came to help enforce Fintiklis' claim to the property.

The situation grew so bad that footage leaked of Trump Organization security and hotel officials fighting within the building. Fintiklis led the charge, and proclaimed his intention to hire a new management team and rebrand the property. Neither Trump nor the White House has commented on the matter.

Mr Fintiklis, majority owner of the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower, hailed the court's decision, saying: "Panama has made us proud".