A roundup of Donald Trump’s business successes and failures

By Jane Mulligan

Donald Trump was born into a wealthy family in 1946. He is an American businessman, television producer and Republican politician with presidential hopes.

He is worth a staggering $3.7 billion USD and has five children. He is also the Chairman and President of conglomerate company The Trump Organisation (formerly called Elizabeth Trump & Son), which he owns 100 percent of. His three eldest children (Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump) all serve as Executive Vice Presidents for the company.

The Trump Organisation is located inside Trump Tower which is situated in New York City. This is the power-hub of Donald Trump’s empire and is where he completes his business ventures and investments. The Trump Organisation is involved with property management and real estate development, investing, brokerage, sales and marketing.

The Trump Organisation also owns a stake in Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. The company was previously known as Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (up until 2004).
When it first launched, there were three casinos; The Trump Plaza, Trump’s Castle, and The Trump Taj Mahal. These casinos thrived in the 90s when (in 1996) the company had a market cap of more than $1billion. This made Donald Trump’s 41 percent stake worth roughly $400million. However; the casinos struggled and now, Trump Entertainment only owns one property which is The Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. Trump Entertainment has faced a lot of problems and has declared itself bankrupt four times in 1991, 2004, 2009 and 2014. The bankruptcy of Trump’s Atlantic City casinos left him (reportedly) in more than $3.4 billion of debt and his subsequent abandonment of the site is one of his darkest ventures.

In 1988, Donald Trump purchased the Plaza Hotel in New York for more than $400million. He then spent more than $50million renovating it under the direction of his former wife Ivana Trump.

Trump owns 18 “world-class” championship golf properties and resorts under the name Trump Golf. These golfing properties are located in many different locations from Miami (which won Golf Magazines ‘Best U.S. Resort Renovation’ award) to Ireland. The golfing properties have been described as “the greatest golf portfolio ever assembled by one man”.

Trump also has his own portfolio of ‘Trump Hotels’. These hotels are located all over the world from Florida, Las Vegas, Hawaii and New York in the U.S. to Toronto in Canada and Brazil and Panama. There are even two hotels in Scotland and one in Ireland too.

“We put you at the heart of it all with exceptionally designed hotels in iconic destinations and the most stunning views. With our personal mission to deliver unparalleled service and experiences, you never have to settle for anything less than extraordinary” – Trump Hotels Website.

Donald Trump also owns Trump International Realty which is headquarted in New York City and is a brokerage firm claiming to be the world’s only global luxury real estate super-brand.

In regards to real estate, Trump never completed work on multiple buildings. Trump International Hotel and Tower in Dubai, Trump International Hotel and Tower in New Orleans and Trump International Hotel & Residence in Phoenix (in which he withdrew his association from in 2005). Trump also abandoned work on the Elite Tower, Trump Ocean Resort in Baja Mexico and Trump Tower Europe in Stuttgart, Germany.

Another part of Trumps business empire is Trump Winery. The winery is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains on 1,300 acres of land in Charlottesville, Virginia and has almost 200 varieties of French Vitis Vinifera and even a tasting room (since 2011). Trump Winery is Virginia’s biggest vineyard and the largest Vinifera vineyard on the East Coast of the states. The winery opened a 45-room boutique luxury hotel within the vineyard in 2015, spanning 26,000 square-foot named the Albemarle Estate.

“We pride ourselves on creating the finest terroir-driven sparkling, white, and red wines, which have won numerous national and international medals and best-in-class designations”.

Trump Model Management is a modelling agency founded by Trump. Donald Trump is known to love beauty pageants and his production company produces Miss USA and Pageant Place pageants.

Donald Trump even has his own eau de toilette spray (launched in 2012) that is sold in numerous Macy stores across the U.S.

Trump also owns a few lesser-known companies such as:

  • Sentient Jets (also known as Trump Jets) which provides private jets to clients
  • Trump Productions (an American TV production company founded in 2004)


Trump has also had his fair share of business disasters such as:

  • GoTrump.com (travel search engine) The website was only in business for one year.
  • Trump Ice (bottled water brand) This was a gimmick brand created through the American Apprentice TV show. It can now no longer be bought in the stores it was known to be stocked in and the website is no longer available. Trump will also no longer be featured on NBCs Celebrity Apprentice because of his controversial comments that he has made.
  • Trump Streak (Launched in 2007 and was only in business for one year).
  • Trump Airlines (Launched in 1989 and was only in business for roughly four years).
  • Trump Vodka (Vodka brand that was in business for just five years).
  • Trump Mortgage (Active for just one and a half years after launching in 2006).
  • Trump: The Game (This was Trumps version of Monopoly and was only in business for one year).
  • Trump Magazine (A magazine launched in 2007 and shutting down just two years later).


And many more.


Image: scarletsails / Getty


Featured Articles

Amelia DeLuca, CSO at Delta Air Lines on Female Leadership

Driving decarbonisation at Delta Air Lines, Chief Sustainability Officer Amelia DeLuca discusses the rise of the CSO and value of more women in leadership

Liz Elting – Driving Equality & Building Billion-$ Business

Founder and CEO Liz Elting Turned Her Passion into Purpose and Created a Billion-Dollar Business While Fighting for Workplace Equality – and Winning

JPMorgan Chase: Committed to supporting the next generation

JPMorgan has unveiled a host of new and expanded philanthropic activities totalling US$3.5 million to support the development of apprenticeship programmes

How efficient digital ecosystems became business critical

Technology & AI

Mastercard: Supporting clients at a time of rapid evolution

Digital Strategy

Why Ceridian has boldly rebranded to Dayforce

Human Capital