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Trump golf course seeks lower rent because of virus shutdown

June 17, 2020 GMT
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President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump watch as the Florida Atlantic University Marching Band performs during a Super Bowl party at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump watch as the Florida Atlantic University Marching Band performs during a Super Bowl party at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The golf course President Donald Trump owns near his Mar-a-Lago getaway and plays frequently when he visits is seeking a break on its rent because of lost business caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump International Golf Club asked Palm Beach County to defer an unspecified amount of its $88,338 monthly rent, something the county has done for other tenants at properties it owns. Trump leased the land the 27-hole private club sits upon from the county two decades ago under a 99-year agreement.

Palm Beach County ordered the closure of golf courses in March as part of its pandemic response. They weren’t allowed to reopen for more than a month and only then with restrictions.

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“These mandated closures occurred during the busiest parts of our season,” club finance director Ed Raymundo wrote to the county in the one-paragraph letter on June 5. The request was first reported by the Palm Beach Post.

The county has not taken any action on the request.

Officials at the golf club and Trump International headquarters in New York did not return calls Wednesday seeking comment.

Trump usually spends about five hours at the course most days he is at Mar-a-Lago, which is about five miles (eight kilometers) from the course. Before the pandemic, the president usually spent one or two weekends a month at Mar-a-Lago between November and April along with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday weeks.

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