As hundreds of thousands of federal workers spend the holidays without pay due to President Donald Trump’s government shutdown over border wall funding, American taxpayer money is being put to good use covering the more than $50,000 cost of tents for Trump’s New Year’s Eve party at his luxurious Mar-a-Lago resort.
Quartz reported on Monday that “Grimes Events & Party Tents Inc. of Delray Beach, Florida was paid $54,020 by the US Secret Service on December 19 for ‘TENT RENTAL FOR MAL.’”
An employee named Honey who answered the phone at Grimes Events & Party Tents told Quartz, “We are providing tents for the Mar-a-Lago New Year’s Eve party, yes.”
The Secret Service also uses tents for security purposes, often as holding areas for vehicles and VIPs.
Last year, the Secret Service spent $26,457.28 to rent lights, generators, tables and tents for the Mar-a-Lago New Year’s bash, according to Newsweek. Guests will pay $1,000 per person to attendthe 2018 Mar-a-Lago New Year’s Eve party, up from $750 last year and $575 the year before, according to published reports. Club members will pay $650 this year, up from $600 in 2017. Ticket prices do not include 20% gratuity and 7% tax, which boosts the price of a $1,000 ticket to $1,270.
The contract for tents was one of two contracts available for public viewing:
Another noteworthy Secret Service expenditure, this one for $41,250 and paid to BSE Performance of Peoria, Arizona, is for “GENERATORS AND LIGHT TOWERS RENTAL FOR MAL.” It is not clear if the generators and light towers are specifically for the New Year’s Eve party; both were paid the same day. There are only two contracts related to Mar-a-Lago posted at the present time; both run through the end of May. Any others may not be made publicly available for weeks or even months to come.