In true cool-guy fashion, Burt Reynolds was a regular at the Mar-a-Lago long before he was ever invited.
As a sex symbol and pop icon during the 70s and 80s, it’s no secret that Burt Reynolds attended some of the craziest and most lavish parties around. But it was the parties that Burt attended at Mar-a-Lago when he was a kid that he says remains most memorable.
During an interview, Burt talked about the time Donald Trump invited him to a party at Mar-a-Lago after purchasing the estate. For many, the invitation was exciting because the Mar-a-Lago had not been open to the public for years. But Burt Reynolds is way cooler than most people and he’d visited the estate long before it was legal to do so.
“What he [Trump] didn’t know was in the summertime, we used to sneak into the little beach house which went underneath the road and came up inside the house [Mar-a-Lago]. Because the house was all boarded up. And we had parties and we took up the little radio and danced. Maybe 12 or 13 or 14 kids,” said Reynolds.
Burt said that his childhood parties at Mar-a-Lago were a blast.
“Oh, they were great. We were playing ‘Shake, Rattle, and Roll,’ and things like that on the radio and dancing,” he said.
When asked how Trump’s parties compared to his spontaneous teen gathering at the mansion, Burt said “Very stiff. Staid, kind of.”
Meet The Woman Behind Mar-A-Lago
Marjorie Merriweather Post built Mar-a-Lago in the 1920s and presided over it for almost half a century. She built the residence for $7 million which would be about $90 million today. The home boasted 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms with gold-plated fixtures, and a 1,800-square-foot living room with 42-foot ceilings. The 110,000 square foot home was furnished with gold leaf, Spanish tiles, Italian marble, and Venetian silks.
Located on 17 acres of land between Lake Worth and the Atlantic, Post designed the space as her home. It quickly became a hot spot for lavish dinners and gatherings. The term Mar-a-Lago means “Sea to Lake” in Spanish. Post certainly enjoyed the luxuries of her home, but she also always found ways to benefit the community. In 1929, she hired the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to perform at Mar-a-Lago for a charity fund-raiser. She invited children in the community affected by the Great Depression who would otherwise never had the chance to attend. In 1944, she offered land to World War II veterans who needed occupational therapy. In 1957, the International Red Cross Ball was held at her home. Since then, the gala has been hosted there many times.
Donald Trump Purchased The Estate in the 1980s
However, by the 1950s what was fancy and alluring in the 20s was no longer in fashion. Post donated the property to government entities. But the government was not interested due to the costs of maintenance and upkeep. So, Post went with her plan B. In our experience, plans b’s are usually far more boring than initial plans. But, that wasn’t the case for Marjorie Post. When her plans to donate the building to the government didn’t work out, she pursued her back-up plan. Turn Mar-a-Lago into the “Wintertime White House.” It would be where U.S. presidents would reside when they needed an escape from their residence in Washington, D.C.
After Post passed away in 1973, the Post Foundation pursued her idea. But the federal government declined in 1981 because of the potential costs of maintenance and upkeep. Why is everyone so against maintenance and upkeep?
So, Mar-a-Lago went on the market. In 1985 Donald Trump bought the estate and its furnishings for a reported $8 million. That was a small fraction of the original cost.