Soul Cycle developer faces backlash over top-dollar Trump fundraiser

The developer behind fitness chains SoulCycle and Equinox faced criticism for a planned high-dollar fundraiser he's hosting for President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeSantis on Florida schools reopening: 'If you can do Walmart,' then 'we absolutely can do schools' NYT editorial board calls for the reopening of schools with help from federal government's 'checkbook' Mueller pens WaPo op-ed: Roger Stone 'remains a convicted felon, and rightly so' MORE's reelection campaign in the Hamptons later this week. 

Stephen Ross, the founder and chairman of The Related Companies, which owns Equinox, will host the fundraiser luncheon on Friday along with his wife. Equinox owns SoulCycle, a boutique, indoor cycling health chain.

Some customers of Equinox and SoulCycle, which are known for a clientele that is largely urban and female, criticized the fundraiser on social media, threatening to cancel their memberships.  

The indoor cycling chain's CEO Melanie Whelan said in a statement later Wednesday that Soul Cycle "in no way endorses the political fundraising event." 

"Soul cycle has nothing to do with the event and does not support it," Whelan said in a statement. "Consistent with our policies, no company profits are used to fund politicians." 

Soulcycle has a number of famous fans, including former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaPrinceton must finish what it started The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Justices rule Manhattan prosecutor, but not Congress, can have Trump tax records The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump takes on CDC over schools MORE.

In 2016, a Washington writer published a story about Obama showing up at her SoulCycle class with a Secret Service detail. 

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Equinox also issued a statement addressing the backlash, saying they have nothing to do with the fundraiser.  

Ross also owns the Miami Dolphins of the NFL. Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills slammed news on Twitter.  

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that tickets for the luncheon are priced at $100,000 for a photo opportunity and lunch, while attendees can pay $250,000 to be included in a roundtable discussion. 

The Related Companies has also invested in the Milk Bar and Momofuku restaurant chain.

Updated 3:53 p.m.