Business at the high end is grand for Trump

Mon May 25, 2015 5:31pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Warning bells have sounded on the health of golf, from lower participation and course closures to environmental demands for reduced water use, but billionaire Donald Trump says business at the high end is grand.

Trump on Tuesday will stage the grand opening of Trump Links at Ferry Point, his latest golf enterprise, where he oversaw the transformation of a New York City dump into a jewel of a public course designed by Jack Nicklaus.

"We're very proud of it. It's doing great business. People are thrilled," the businessman told Reuters from behind his massive desk on the top floor of Trump Tower on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.

"And I’m happy because I did a good thing for the city."

A very good thing, at least, for Big Apple golfers with the means to pay weekday green fees from $175 for city residents to $225 for those from beyond its borders, including cart.

The treeless links-style course with dramatic mounds dotting the fairways, stretches from the foot of the Whitestone Bridge in the Bronx with views of the Manhattan skyline and East River.

"It's the best municipal course in the world," said Trump, not prone to understatement. "It will be the home of many majors over the years."

When real estate magnate and avid golfer Trump jumped into the golf business some 20 years ago he began by building courses. After the market swooned he took to 'buying low' and rebuilding distressed, luxury properties.   Continued...

Real estate magnate Donald Trump (R) plays golf during the opening of his Trump International Golf Links golf course near Aberdeen, northeast Scotland in this file photo taken on July 10, 2012. REUTERS/David Moir