Initiation fees at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort doubled to $200,000

Initiation fees to join Mar-a-Lago, the president's Florida resort, have doubled since he was elected. Photo / Getty Images
Initiation fees to join Mar-a-Lago, the president's Florida resort, have doubled since he was elected. Photo / Getty Images

Since Donald Trump took office, initiation fees at his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago have doubled to US$200,000 ($274,000).

Though President Trump has resigned from his companies, the move still raises ethical questions about whether his family is profiting off of the presidency, since his two eldest sons continue to run the Trump Organization.

Sources close to the Florida resort, who spoke with CNBC, say raising fees had been in the works for some time.

The new fees took effect on January 1, less than two months after Trump was elected president.

President Obama's former ethics czar, Norm Eisen, called the move "naked profiteering that is more like something out of the era of Louis XVI or a Netflix miniseries about a humid kleptocracy".

Trump with wife Melania and son Barron at the resort in 2015. Photo / Getty Images
Trump with wife Melania and son Barron at the resort in 2015. Photo / Getty Images

Those who join the club are certainly more likely to run into the president. He has already crowned Mar-a-Lago his "Winter White House" and has visited twice since his election - spending Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's there.

The club includes a main mansion with 100 rooms, including private quarters for the president and his family.

It's unclear if demand to join the club was grown. The initiation fee was dropped from $200,000 to $100,000 in 2012, which the club blames on Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme which hit the Palm Beach community hard.

In addition to the initiation fee, members pay $14,000 in annual dues, plus tax.

Mar-a-Lago is a 20-acre resort which includes a beach club, pools, restaurant, tennis courts and a ballroom event space.

- Daily Mail

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