President Donald Trump is playing golf this weekend at one of his tourist businesses, Trump Turnberry, on the west coast of Scotland. About 200 miles to the northeast, on the opposite coast, is another Trump property that the president left on his tour of the United Kingdom.
Perhaps you are overlooking your Trump International golf links, near Aberdeen, due to a tight presidential calendar. Maybe it's more about Turnberry's legacy glamor, which his northern cousin lacks.
Read: inside Scottish Golf Paradise, the loser of Trump
Either way, Trump International is a reminder that Trump has not yet fulfilled the great promises of economic development and job creation he did when he convinced the locals to bend the environmental rules to be able to build a couple of major golf courses in Aberdeenshire.
Trump purchased 1,800 acres of land there in 2005, developed the property from scratch and then opened it in 2012. His representatives say he has spent as much as $ 140 million on the project. The Washington Post reported that Trump probably spent much less: about $ 12.6 million to buy the property and at least another $ 50 million to develop it. But Trump International lost about 1.4 million pounds ($ 1.7 million) in revenues of around 2.63 million pounds ($ 3.25 million) in 2016, according to corporate presentations in the United Kingdom. , and it remains a shadow of the project that Trump originally said he would deliver. 19659005] Trump received zoning variations to build sand dunes protected by the environment after promising to invest from $ 1 trillion to $ 2 billion and create 6,000 to 7,000 jobs as part of a golf and tourism mecca in Aberdeenshire.
However, Trump has invested only a small fraction of that amount, and has only created around 93 jobs (although his manager in the course told the BBC last year that "include caddies" would raise the payroll to 150 people). A 450-bed hotel and 1,500 luxury homes that Trump promised never materialized either. (Trump claimed 2017 annual revenue of $ 3.5 million from the course, in accordance with his most recent financial disclosure form)
By further codifying the project, Trump has repeatedly tried to evict local residents with houses adjacent to his course. All this has soured Trump's hosts over the president, and his plans to build a sister course in Aberdeen seem not to be approved by the local government.
"Critics argue that Trump is now an 'international pariah' with such a toxic brand that it can only damage the reputation of Aberdeenshire," the Herald, a Scottish newspaper, recently reported.
It is not clear if any of that antipathy will be registered in the president.
"Aberdeen has been a great success," he said in 2014, when the course was also losing money and had not yet hosted a major tournament. "It has been considered by many as the best golf course built since 1960." It is one of the best fields in the world. It is very, very successful. He's doing a record business. And it has been great for Aberdeen. The people of Aberdeen love me. "
Get on any Trump International tee and you'll see what attracted the president At its core, Trump is a builder, not a negotiator, and the seussian landscape badped by the wind in Aberdeen It gave him and his designer the opportunity to build on an epic scale.They succeeded. Trump International is a clbadic "links" course (without trees), embroidered with sand dunes and with several t-shirts on high hills of sand that look towards down on winding, valley-shaped streets, playing at more than 7,400 yards and with 110 separate starting spaces, you're ready to challenge the toughest golfer.
A Scottish golf photographer presented Trump to the location – the site of an old property – in 2005. After visiting it and buying the land, Trump was hooked in. He announced plans for his course, along with houses of luxury and a hotel, in 2006. But environmentalists and local residents worried about the impact of the course on the spectacular sand dunes in the area opposed him.
After the local government of Aberdeen rejected by project in 2007, the then prime minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, intervened on behalf of Trump and invoked his national authority to revoke that decision the following year. The rationale for approving the agreement, said the Salmond government, was that the abundant economic development that would follow in Trump's wake would overcome any environmental damage it might entail. (The North Sea oil boom that had fueled the resurgence of Aberdeen was stuttering, and making bets on tourism seemed like an ingenious way to diversify the economy.)
A prominent plaque near the clubhouse commemorates Trump's vision of your links He points out that the course covers "the largest sand dunes in the world" (it is not, they are in Namibia) and that "according to many, it is the best golf course in the world" (that's not true either).
Eric, Trump's son, said in a recent interview with the Washington Post that his family made all this happen in Aberdeenshire by deploying piles of their own money, a curious change in the Trump Organization's preference for agreements. of debt money.
It's also a little disconcerting from a business point of view why Trump felt the need to build a luxury luxury golf resort in Aberdeen. There were already a handful of well-regarded clubs in the area, including Royal Aberdeen (opened in 1780 and one of the oldest in the world) and Murcar Links (opened in 1909), which were considered irresistible alternatives to Trump International.
While Aberdeenshire is a charming part of the world, it is not necessarily where dozens of millionaires would like to spend money on mansions by the sea. The area is charming because it is relatively wild and inaccessible, and the residents, practical and welcoming, are not golf snobs. When Trump opened his course with green fees of around $ 325 per round, many local golfers objected.
However, before the course was completed, Trump got into a series of meaningless fights with the locals. In particular, Trump tried to buy a fisherman, Michael Forbes, who rejected the offer. Trump said that Forbes resided in a "pigsty" that spoiled the views of his course. He then cut off the water supply to Forbes and his extended family to force them to move. The majority of Scots, who have not forgotten centuries of land expropriation by hereditary aristocrats, inevitably took Forbes and the sides of their neighbors.
Trump had already achieved a coup when he won the right to build the field and could have encouraged his goals simply to make peace with his new neighbors. But he followed the residents (echoing the efforts he made decades ago in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to expel a woman whose boarding house was near one of his casinos), and was finally savagely attacked in a couple of locally produced documentaries about the confrontation. When Forbes won a "Top Scot" award a few months after the Trump course opened in 2012, Trump took to Twitter insult