Photo: you've been trumped
The Donald is having a bad month. First his presidential campaign flopped and now his Scottish golf course development has too.
For environmentalists in Scotland who had opposed the development, there is a silver lining to the recession cloud: Trump has conceded that it is just too expensive to go ahead with the controversial plan to build a hotel and luxury villa development along with his golf course on the Scottish coast.
Photo: creative commons/gage skidmore
It's been a long and a lonesome road for "President" Trump.. He said that "the world has crashed" since he purchased the land and dunes in 2005. He has already spent £50 to £60 M of his own money to ensure the course itself was completed.
But the full development, a £750M complex covering 2,000 acres, with another 18-hole golf course, four blocks of 950 time-share flats, 500 exclusive houses, 36 villas, a golf academy and housing for 400 staff has been stopped by the recession.
The development has been controversial right from the start. He was proposing to build a billion pound golf course on the Scottish coastline; smack in the middle of an unspoilt natural habitat.
Relations with the local community were never good. He was particularly incensed at the one hold-out farmer who refused to sell. He said: "Forbes is someone who I would love to see clean up his property. It is a slum and a pigsty. His barn is rusty, rotten and falling down."
Despite opposition from residents and environmentalists, including the Chair of the local Council and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, it was approved because the First Minister of Scotland said "In tough economic times, substantial investment of this kind is at a premium."
Although he called himself a new-found son of Aberdeen, the locals never really bought it. A documentary called "You've Been Trumped" is playing an extended run in the local cinema. The documentary tells the story of the battle between the environmentalists, community and Trump's venture:
"Told entirely without narration, You've Been Trumped captures the cultural chasm between the glamorous, jet-setting and media savvy Donald Trump and a deeply rooted Scottish community. What begins as an often amusing clash of world views grows increasingly bitter and disturbing. For the tycoon, the golf course is just another deal, with a possible billion dollar payoff. For the residents, it represents the destruction of a globally unique landscape that has been the backdrop for their lives."
He has denounced the film as "a fraud".