Panama City, March 6 (IANS) The owner of a luxury hotel in Panama City has said he regained control of the building after a legal battle with its management — the Trump Organization.
The removal of the Trump name from the Trump International Hotel Panama came after a days-long standoff between the majority owner, Cypriot businessman Orestes Fintiklis, and the President’s company, the Washington Post reported on Monday.
Fintiklis has been fighting to cancel the contract with the Trump Organization which runs through 2031 because he blamed the company and the Trump brand for a fall in profits.
Within hours of the verdict from a Panamanian court, hotel staff removed the Trump name from its main entrance.
Fintiklis hailed the court decision: “Panama has made us proud. Today, this dispute has been settled by the judges and the authorities of this country.”
However, the building’s future remained uncertain as the Trump Organization said it could still retake control of the hotel.
The standoff between Miami-based Fintiklis and the management team at the hotel lasted over a week.
On Monday, the police and a court official enforced the owner’s claim to the hotel as Trump Organization executives and security staff abandoned the building.
Hotel employees then pried the Trump logo from the entrance.
For its part, the Trump Organization accused Fintiklis of breaching his contractual commitments.
“Trump Hotel remains fully confident that it will not only prevail, but recover all of its damages, costs and attorneys’ fees, including those… arising from today’s events.”
President Donald Trump had said that he gave up day-to-day control of his businesses, including the Panama hotel, when he took the office. But he still owns these businesses and he can withdraw money from them at any time.
In his last financial disclosures, Trump reported that his company had made about $810,000 in management fees from the Panama hotel in the preceding 15 months.