WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s wild comments since storming the race for the White House have boosted business for his hotels and the restaurants located in them, his lawyers contend in a new court filing in his fight with Washington celebrity chef Jose Andres.
Trump is suing Andres for $10 million after Andres and Chef Geoffrey Zakarian announced last summer they were canceling plans for restaurants in Trump’s redevelopment of the Old Post Office Pavilion building, just blocks from the White House, because of Trump’s comments that Mexico was sending criminals and “rapists” to the United States.
Andres’ team — which filed its own suit against Trump seeking $8 million — says those comments and others would be enough to drive down business at least 12% based on estimates of people who would not want to dine at a Trump property. But Trump’s legal team fired back, saying that an analysis from hospitality industry expert Roger Cline concludes Trump’s comments have actually helped his businesses.
“The affidavit explains, among other things, that data from the pre- and post-political statements time period gleaned from STR Global-generated ‘STAR Reports’ show that five of the six Trump-branded hotels in the United States continue to perform well as compared with competitor hotels, and data from the signature restaurants in each of these hotels are performing better in the timeframe after the political statements than they were in the timeframe before the political statements,” Trump lawyers write in the most recent court filing, which was submitted on Wednesday.
The court filing does not include Cline’s analysis of the Trump hotels or provide more details.