Monday, April 23, 2012

Trumped Up

We’re waiting agog over here in Scotland for Mitt Romney’s BFF Donald Trump to come and “give evidence” to the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee on Wednesday.

I covered the background to Trump’s efforts to develop a “world-class” golf resort on the Menie Estate near Aberdeen in an earlier post, along with his threats that the proposed installation of the Vattenfall experimental offshore windfarm some miles from his new gated golfing community meant that he wouldn’t go ahead with the second phase—the construction of a hotel and major housing development. As I pointed out at the time, this is all utter humbug since back in June 2011, we saw the announcement:

Donald Trump has been forced to postpone his plan to create the “world’s greatest” golf resort in Scotland, complete with five-star hotel and luxury villas, because of the global financial crisis.

The billionaire property developer flew into Aberdeen on Monday on his latest luxury jet, a Boeing 757-200 fitted out with a master bedroom and five kitchens, to announce that his championship standard 18-hole golf course overlooking the North Sea would open for play in July next year.

... the tycoon said that the full scheme, a £750m complex featuring a luxury hotel, Trump Boulevard, a golf academy, a second course and timeshare apartments, had been bunkered by the recession.

Trump said “the world has crashed” since he first bought the Menie estate and dunes in 2005, provoking a long-running battle with local residents, councillors and environmental groups about his proposals, which has involved heavily altering the legally protected rare dunes.

In fact, as early as December 2008 there had been persistent rumors that Trump’s extravagant scheme would have to be scaled back because of economic considerations. When he proclaimed plans to build a mansion for himself on the land:

The announcements follow strenuous denials yesterday by the businessman’s company that they were scaling back the development in the face of the economic downturn and a series of legal and financial dismissals.

George Sorial, the manager of the Menie project, reiterated Mr Trump’s commitment, stating that any rumours of cutbacks were “just not true”.

Earlier this year, though, Trump had changed his tune and began a characteristically blustery vendetta against the Scottish Government’s drive for renewable energy, claiming that this was the reason he might shelve his plans.

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Posted by YAFB on 04/23/12 at 09:10 AM
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