March 21, 2018

Trump Name Forcibly Removed from Panama Hotel

07 March 2018, 11:45 | Kara Nash

Trump hotel executives, security guards abandon Panama property following 12-day standoff with owners

Orestes Fintiklis manager of the Miami-based private equity fund Ithaca Capital plays a piano at the lobby of the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City

The threatening text cast doubts over the performance by the Second Circuit Court, which appointed an administration for the hotel while the ICC makes a decision, and noted that the arbitration will be favorable and it will not only resume the management of the establishment, but it will receive compensation for alleged damage.

Like many Trump branded properties the Trump name is leased, neither the president nor his family, nor the Trump Organization actually own the hotel.

Fintiklis added the ordeal "was purely a commercial dispute that just spun out of control".

Cypriot businessman Orestes Fintiklis has been fighting to cancel the contract with the Trump Organization, which he blames for a fall in profits.

The row erupted last month when Mr Fintiklis, a Miami-based investor who previous year became owner of the majority of units in the building through a company he controls, said he wanted to boot the Trump Organisation out before its management contract was up, remove the Trump name and rebrand the building.

The statement arrived a few hours after workers at the hotel had begun removing Trump's name from the property. Trump hotel officials turned away Fintiklis and his entourage, refusing to let Fintiklis check into any of his private equity fund's 202 hotel rooms.

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The most recent and intense feuding began February 22, when the Miami-based Fintiklis came to the property with termination notices for Trump's management team.

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. "Looking back, it is now apparent that Mr. Fintiklis, in flagrant violation of the commitments he had made, never had any intention of keeping his word and had been plotting a takeover and termination of Trump Hotels all along". On Monday, armed Panamanian police escorted Trump Organization management out of the establishment, seemingly for good.

Grainy footage of the encounter obtained by the AP shows Trump security officials shoving a representative of the condo owners' association and a brawl in a stairwell between opposing security guards.

Initially invited by Trump's managers, the Panamanian police repeatedly visited the hotel to keep the peace.

The fight ended quietly when a Panamanian judicial official accompanied by police came to help enforce Fintiklis' claim to the property. Trump security officials exited the property on their own accord, leaving the hotel's administrative office vacant. Though Fintiklis has generally declined to comment on the dispute, he appeared to gloat Monday.

Fintiklis then sat down at the hotel's piano in its lobby and played a song that included the lyrics, "Fascism will not prevail".

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