Tuesday 16 January 2018

Trump on course to profit from bargain purchase of Doonbeg

The Doonbeg golf course in Co Clare
The Doonbeg golf course in Co Clare
Donald Trump

Gordon Deegan

Billionaire Donald Trump's bargain-basement purchase of Doonbeg golf resort in Co Clare is already paying off rich dividends, with the businessman placing a price tag of up to $25m on the resort.

The receivers of Doonbeg golf resort last year received €8.7m arising from Mr Trump's purchase of the resort.

But the new $25m valuation is contained in the 92 pages of financial disclosures that Mr Trump has filed with the Federal Election Commission in the US as part of his campaign to become the Republican candidate to stand for election as US president.

On the back of additional tourists arriving into Ireland, the Trump organisation has now placed a potential value on the resort of up to $25m (€22.78m) only 17 months after its purchase.

The exhaustive documentation of Mr Trump's financial interests states that Doonbeg golf resort is now valued between $5m and $25m.

It reveals that Doonbeg golf club, under the Trump banner, is now recording revenues in excess of $10.7m (€9.7m) per annum.

However, this is just half the $20m enjoyed by his Turberry resort in Scotland, which is valued at over $50m.

Mr Trump is currently topping the opinion polls in the Republican race to be presidential candidate but his campaign has become mired in controversy with his comments following his dismissal of Sen John McCain being a 'war hero' and his attack on immigrants trying to access the border with Mexico.

The documentation published shows that Mr Trump has assets worth at least $1.4bn.

He is paid $250,000 per speech and enjoys an annual income of $380m, with more than half of his income, about $200m - coming from his golf courses and resorts.

The general manager of the Trump International Golf Resort at Doonbeg, Joe Russell, said: "The Trump Organisation have invested heavily in the golf course and the hotel during the winter and spring season, making continued improvements in the resort overall.

"This has been received very favourably by both international and domestic visitors, who have had an opportunity to experience and enjoy the changes to the golf course.

"Business this summer remains strong, with the Trump International sales and marketing channels creating many new opportunities for advance reservations in 2015 and 2016.

"Thankfully, membership numbers are now picking up again after a difficult few years on that aspect of our business."

On his first visit to Doonbeg golf resort last year, Mr Trump said that the people who love Ireland will thank him for the very special work he is doing at Doonbeg golf resort.

Mr Trump promised an investment of up to €45m in the resort and hundreds more jobs to follow.

Irish Independent

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