• The Trump International Hotel and Tower Panama in Panama City is currently the site of an intense business dispute.
• Trump Organization employees refused to vacate the premises after being fired by the hotel’s majority owners on Tuesday.
• The international blowup could cause problems for President Donald Trump.
The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Panama City boasts 369 hotel rooms, an infinity pool with spectacular ocean views, and a bitter business dispute that’s already required police intervention.
It’s the site of a contentious showdown between Trump Organization staffers and the property’s majority owners, led by investor Orestes Fintiklis. His firm, Ithaca Capital Partners, has a majority stake in the property, The New York Times reported.
The owners chose to cut ties with the Trump brand last year, and have been in arbitration since October 2017. The Los Angeles Times reported the owners have accused Trump Hotels of “gross mismanagement” and “financial misconduct.”
But the Trump Organization isn’t budging.
In January, the organization refused to admit a team of Marriott staffers visiting on behalf of the owners. Now, the owners are accusing the Trump Organization executives of illegally encroaching on their property, The New York Times reported.
Last week, Fintiklis showed up at the hotel to hand out termination slips. The Trump Organization team called the police and “barred the owners’ group from entering a room containing the building’s computer servers and closed-circuit television system,” The New York Times reported. Trump Organization executives were also overheard shredding files, the Associated Press reported.
The face-off turned physical on Tuesday, when rival teams of security guards began to scuffle in the building. Police were called again, and broke up the fight. One guard was handcuffed, but not arrested, after blocking police access to the building’s administrative offices, The Washington Post reported.
Once he was allowed to access the hotel, Fintiklis celebrated by playing Beethoven on a piano in the hotel’s lobby, according to the Washington Post.
And Wednesday, riot gear-clad police burst into the building to investigate whether hotel staffers were being paid. Panamanian authorities have opened an investigation into the tense situation.
The ongoing dispute could bring about repercussions felt in the White House, possibly sparking concerns about President Donald Trump’s international conflicts of interest, reported Business Insider’s Allan Smith.
Here’s a look inside the five-star hotel that’s the center of this dispute:
The 70-story skyscraper is the tallest building in Central America and the only Trump hotel in Latin America. In 2014, Trump tweeted that the building’s “design evokes a majestic sail fully deployed in the wind.” The property includes both a hotel and condominiums.
For a stay in late March, guests can pay anywhere from $135.15 a night to $1,994.25 a night for the presidential suite.
Source: Trump Hotels