Mar-a-Lago will show 2017 to the door as one might expect: With a lavish red-carpet party attended by Florida socialites looking to hobnob with the club's owner and most famous resident, President Trump. "It’s a very glam night," a club member tells the Washington Post. "I think everyone is even more excited this year than last year, because then he was president-elect, he hadn’t been sworn in. Now he’s president, and he’s accomplished so much already." And people are willing to pay for the privilege of attending what the Post calls "the highlight of the Palm Beach social season": The club, which doubled membership prices to $200,000 after Trump's election, is charging members $600 and guests $750 per ticket. That's up from $525 and $575 last year, notes Politico.
The price tag has critics predictably grousing, because while Trump no longer runs his business, he continues to own Mar-a-Lago. "The president continues to find ways to profit from public office," says a government ethics expert, "by exploiting the fact that there are people who will pay to spend time with him and to be seen with him." But his attendance is certainly nothing new—the Post notes that he's been a fixture at the event for some two decades. Guests are treated to a four-course meal, dancing, and a "modern fantasy garden" theme in what the designer describes as "metallic gold, silver and shades thereof." "I expect most of the members will want to be there. It’s going to be fabulous," said the club member. Trump will "be the last one to leave the party, and the first one up in the morning, tweeting. Lucky for us, he doesn’t need a lot of sleep." (Trump reportedly told club members "you all just got a lot richer" after signing the tax reform bill.)