Billionaire and presidential hopeful Donald Trump is nothing if not flashy.
Take, for instance, his expansive estate in Palm Beach, Florida. With its marble, carved stone, gold leaf, chandeliers and oriental rugs, the 126-room mansion on the Mar-a-Lago property exudes all the gilded grandeur of a royal palace. In the mid-1990s, Trump converted Mar-a-Lago into a private resort but did set aside some of the space for himself and his family; Trump calls it a home away from home.
One of Trump’s websites brags that Mar-a-Lago, which he bought in 1985, “pairs the sophistication of the Trump name and the lavish Palm Beach lifestyle.”
Lots and Lots of Land
Donald Trump bought Mar-a-Lago in 1985.
Photo: Robert Stevens/Business Wire
During the 2016 race for the White House, Americans have gotten a few glimpses inside Mar-a-Lago, as candidate Trump has hosted several campaign events there. But since we’re a lawn care company, we’re more curious about not what’s inside the more than 47,000-square-foot oceanside mansion but what’s outside. It turns out that there’s a lot of land.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at just one facet of Trump’s home away from home — how much it costs to mow the spacious lawn. Sneak preview: It’s over $100,000 a year. Read on for the details.
The Mowing Tab for 20 Acres
Mar-a-Lago hosts numerous events, including this equestrian show.
Photo: Sportfot/Business Wire
The Mar-a-Lago website says the property features about 20 acres of “perfectly landscaped lawns,” including two grass croquet courts and a putting green. Some news reports peg the size at 17 acres, including the grounds and gardens.
So, we got to wondering just how much cash Trump would have to cough up to keep Mar-a-Lago’s vast lawn mowed if he outsourced the job. Taking Trump at his word, we calculated the lawn-mowing tab based on 20 acres rather than 17.
LawnStarter’s proprietary data shows the lawn-mowing bill for 20 acres at Mar-a-Lago would come to $2,750 a week, or $143,000 for an entire year. Even at 17 acres, the weekly cost would be $2,500, or $130,000 for an entire year. The typical American pays roughly $25 for lawn-mowing services, or about $1,300 for an entire year, LawnStarter data shows.
Keep in mind that our estimate covers only lawn mowing. It doesn’t include water, lawn treatments and other landscaping-related expenses at Mar-a-Lago. In 1999, the Orlando Sentinel reported that the annual upkeep at Mar-a-Lago, ranging from landscaping to maintenance, cost $1 million. Since then, that price tag surely has soared.
‘Greatest’ Place in Palm Beach
Donald Trump wants the grounds at Mar-a-Lago to be “pristine.”
Photo: Business Wire
Now, to be fair, we know that Trump employs a crew to tend to Mar-A-Lago’s landscaping, so he wouldn’t actually need to hire an outside lawn-mowing business. A 2012 job posting indicated that at the time, Mar-a-Lago’s landscape superintendent oversaw five to 10 workers.
The job posting outlined the landscape superintendent’s numerous duties, particularly ensuring that the grounds, gardens, foliage and trees at Mar-a-Lago “are maintained in pristine condition.”
Trump certainly wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less than “pristine” landscaping at what could become the real estate mogul’s backup White House.
“Whether they love me or not, everyone agrees the greatest and most important place in Palm Beach is Mar-a-Lago,” Trump told the Washington Post in 2015. “I took this ultimate place and made it incredible and opened it, essentially, to the people of Palm Beach.”
Top photo: Mar-a-Lago