Angry Investors Lash Out at Trump After His Mexican ‘Trump Ocean Resort’ Totally Fails to Even Break Ground
While former President Donald Trump is currently swamped with lawsuits, he has perhaps, become used to this situation over time. This includes one lawsuit more than a decade ago that involved lots of potential condominium buyers, especially from the San Diego area, who sued Trump over a failed condominium project in Baja California, the Times of San Diego reports.
At the time Trump did his best to downplay his role in the real estate fiasco. Even though his daughter Ivanka Trump had dinner with several potential buyers at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.
The legal battle involved roughly 17 acres of prime real estate on the Pacific coast in Punta Bandera, which is just south of Tijuana. It was slated to become the Trump Ocean Resort. In a sales pitch for the resort, Trump exhorted people to invest, saying “Baja is really one of the hot places.”
Ivanka even bragged about how dear old Dad and his company “are always ahead of the curve.” Trump Ocean Resort was projected to open in 2009. There’s even promotional videos about the resort still up on YouTube.
Trump had the reputation of a successful wheeler-dealer, which he boasts about in sales promotions.
“When I build I have investors that follow me,” Trump bragged.
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And lo, a flock of 250 investors did follow. Some were even videotaped at a “VIP event” extolling Trump’s (imaginary) virtues.
“His reputation is synonymous with quality,” said one woman, while one couple (of fools) added, “We figured we can’t go wrong.”
But they and the other investors, and Trump, did go wrong.
The hoped-for 26-story building turned into a major hornswoggle. Trump tried to back his way out of it by saying he licensed his name for the deal but then agreed to a confidential settlement with some of the investors.
But like so many things this man has said, he wasn’t completely transparent about just how involved he was in the project.
“In a 2006 article, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Trump had told one of the reporters in an interview that he was a ‘significant’ equity investor in the project,” the Times of San Diego reports.
Reporters visited the Baja California property where they discovered little if anything has been done to the site. As they drew closer, two unidentified men escorted two reporters out of the area.
“They explained they worked for the property owner, had seen us on video, and didn’t want us going on the property,” notes JW August, writing for the Times. “Neither would identify themselves or the property owner.”
“The only other activity we saw was a group of well-kept dogs that roamed the acreage. We later learned the land is currently controlled by Pacifica Group based in Newport Beach,” August noted. “The company, which had no relationship with the Trump Ocean Resort, did not respond to our requests for comment.”
So now there’s a nice big hole in the ground and a bunch of unhappy investors, including Sandra Sapol, who owns a small business in Encinitas, who’s definitely upset over the $130,000 she spent on the promises Trump’s promotions made. She’d met Ivanka Trump at a sales presentation in downtown San Diego and remembers this as an exciting time for her family.
They frequently traveled to the site but then, “all of a sudden, the offices were closed, and all of a sudden, the fences went up. And all of a sudden we weren’t getting phone calls back from the Trump Baja property.
Like Trump Steaks, Trump University, and a host of other failed Trump business ventures, the Trump Ocean Resort was dead in the water.
And Sapol said she’s never been reimbursed, “nothing that when attorneys called to get her to join in a class-action lawsuit, her husband refused to spend any more money on the doomed deal. Multiple media accounts report more than $32 million was raised for the project and spent before any work was done,” August writes.
The investors who did sue received a measly $7.2 million for their efforts from a co-developer of the project with Trump. Apparently, there was also a confidential settlement with Trump covering 100 investors.
Well, my dear daddy always said “When you lie down with dogs, you get fleas.”
These investors all got fleas.
Below, I’ve included the promotional video for the resort that went nowhere.
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