Trump’s Scottish golf clubs extend run of yearly losses

Business

FILE – This July 2, 2009, file photo, shows the Turnberry Lighthouse on the Ailsa Course at the Turnberry golf course in Scotland. President Donald Trump’s two golf resorts in Scotland posted losses for the fifth year in a row as the properties contend with a struggling local economy and a backlash against their owner’s divisive politics. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s two golf resorts in Scotland posted another year of multimillion-dollar losses as his properties contend with a struggling local economy and a backlash against his divisive rhetoric.

Trump’s golf clubs on the North Sea and Irish Sea lost a combined 11.9 million pounds ($14.5 million) last year, according to financial statements filed with Britain’s Companies House.

That comes on the heels of a string of annual losses that started before Trump was president. But there were signs of recovery, including an increase in revenue at both Scottish resorts.

The president has 17 golf operations around the world. But unlike his licensing operations where he has sold his name for fee, he has spent hundreds of millions to buy and improve the clubs, a bold bet that he can buck the industry trend of bankruptcy and losses.

The numbers from Scotland so far have not been encouraging.

At Trump’s Turnberry resort on the Irish Sea, which has hosted several British Opens, losses topped 10.8 million pounds ($13.2 million) last year, triple the loss from a year earlier, though much of that came from a hit in foreign exchange. Taking that out and one-time and non-cash costs, the club lost 210,000 pounds, or $257,000. Revenue jumped 20%.

Trump’s North Sea club overlooking a stretch of dramatic dunes also posted losses, though much lower — 1.1 million pounds, or $1.3 million.

Some in Scotland have praised Trump for bringing in tourists and helping businesses in the North Sea club area. But others have protested his comments about Mexican immigrants and have accused of him of bullying tactics in trying to buy up land and of harming the local dunes with his course.

More recently, the club has drawn protests from environmental groups and others over plans to build 550 homes on the property in what would be the biggest construction project for the president’s company since he took office.

Residents sent thousands of letters to local politicians, raising the prospect of heavy traffic and crowded schools, though others have argued the homes could provide a boost to the economy.

Last month, a local government council approved the Trump club’s plan for expansion, a potentially big source of cash. A marketing brochure says buyers should be prepared to pay as much as 1.3 million pounds for the biggest homes, or $1.6 million each.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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