Panama hotel removes Trump branding after court battle

A group of Panamanian police officers stand inside the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City Monday

Trump Hotels had said it would not give in to "mob style tactics" meant to remove it from the property until courts or arbitrators have settled the contractual matter. Trump security officials exited the property on their own accord, leaving the hotel's administrative office vacant.

"This was purely a commercial dispute that just spun out of control", Fintiklis said in a statement. "Today, this dispute has been settled by the judges and the authorities of this country". With an all new focus on technology and innovation, the 21st IHIF will directly impact your bottom line.

The intervention resolves the standoff between Trump's family hotel business and Fintiklis, who sought to take physical control of the property on behalf of the hotel owners. Since then, Fintiklis took issue with the property's falling occupancy levels, which reached a record low of 26 percent a year ago.

Fintiklis and his allies claimed that Donald Trump's name had hurt business, which hurt their investments.

The move followed a standoff between the Trump Organization, which had a management contract at the hotel in place until 2031, and majority owner Orestes Fintiklis, who wanted to fire the organization for alleged mismanagement, the Washington Post reports.

After the official's decision, Fintiklis said he had won a weeks-long legal battle with the Trump Organization, which he blames for the hotel's declining revenue and low occupancy rates.

"Trump Hotels remains fully confident that it will not only prevail, but recover all of its damages, costs and attorneys' fees, including those... arising from today's events".

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Anibal Herrera, a lawyer for Fintiklis, said that while 10 Trump management employees had been fired - though they refused to leave the property or attend labor hearings - none of the 230 other employees has anything to fear. In January, Fintiklis invited a team from Marriott International to tour the property without informing the Trump Hotel's management team, prompting them to turn Marriott's group away at the door.

The hotel and most of the apartments were sold previous year to Fintiklis's Ithaca Capital Partners, which is based in Miami.

Now, the Trump Hotels brand operates 11 properties in its portfolio after hotels in Toronto and NY similarly voted to step away from the brand recently.

"Today Panama has showcased stable institutions, rule of law and investor-friendly legal framework", Mr Fintiklis said in a brief statement.

Trump officials denounced Fintiklis's efforts to take control of the property as "thug-like, mob-style tactics" and pledged it would not give in to "bullying and the use of force" in a February statement. Though Fintiklis has generally declined to comment on the dispute, he appeared to gloat Monday.

The Trump name was removed from outside the hotel shortly after the eviction and Fintiklis played and sang a Greek anti-facist song on the lobby piano.

Within two hours, a man using a hammer and a crowbar began stripping Trump signage from a stone plaque in front of the building.

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