Mar-A-Lago Members Happy Trump Will Be Gone New Year’s Eve: ‘It’s A More Pleasant Club When Trump Isn’t Here’

Trump said he will be staying in Washington this year as the government shutdown continues.

An aerial view of the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Trump said he will be staying in Washington this year as the government shutdown continues.

Donald Trump will not be at his Mar-a-Lago resort for New Year’s Eve this year, but many members of the exclusive club don’t seem to mind the president’s absence.

Trump announced this week that he will remain in Washington as the New Year rings in, staying behind during the government shutdown and skipping what was reported to be a 16-day vacation in Florida. That means that Trump will miss the swanky party for the first time since becoming president, though Vanity Fair reported that it is not too big of a blow.

The magazine spoke to one longtime member who said that Trump’s presence in the club can actually lead to more complications than anything. While the president is undoubtedly the biggest draw of the club and the party — with many members paying the $200,000 initiation fee and $14,000 annual dues simply to be near the president and have access to him — the member said it will be quieter and simpler without him there.

“Trump will be most missed by those who monitor the bottom line,” the member said.

“People are cancelling their dinner reservations in droves, though in some ways it’s a more pleasant club when Trump isn’t here. There’s not the massive security getting in and out, and the atmosphere is more casual and easy-going. But New Year’s Eve will not be the same without Trump.”

While this year’s Mar-a-Lago party may be going on without Donald Trump, American taxpayers will still be pitching in their portion for the soiree. Because U.S. Secret Service is in charge of security, many of the costs for the party end up falling to the federal government, including a $54,000 bill for tents at this year’s party.

A report from Quartz noted that the expense showed up on government spending records, showing that the Secret Service paid a tent rental company from Delray Beach, Florida, which confirmed that the tents were being used for the New Year’s Eve party at Trump’s resort. The taxpayer costs for the Mar-a-Lago party have risen from last year when the Press Herald found that taxpayers picked up a bill for more than $26,000 for renting lights, generators, tables, and tents at the party.

While Donald Trump may not make it to the party this year, at least some portion of the family’s Secret Service detail will still be there. First Lady Melania Trump returned to the resort after Christmas, and Trump’s children had been in Mar-a-Lago this week as well.