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Donald Trump's Scottish course still losing money, concerned about 'unprecedented challenges'

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Losses for President Donald Trump’s golf property in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, continue to mount, and a mandatory filing from the company that oversees the course notes that the outlook is bleak heading into 2021 due to Brexit restrictions and the COVID pandemic.

Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd., which runs the course, made its annual filing in late December and reported a loss of $1.5 million in 2019, despite a rise in revenue. 

The outlook for 2021 doesn’t look any brighter, according to a note added on behalf of the directors and signed by Trump’s son, Eric.

“The severity of the impact on the golf, leisure and hospitality industry is unprecedented and was not foreseen at the beginning of the pandemic. The extent of the impact of COVID-19 on the company’s business and financial results will depend on the duration and spread of the outbreak and the related impact on consumer confidence and spending, all of which are highly uncertain in the current environment,” the filing said. “Compounded by the uncertainty of Brexit anticipated in 2021, the hospitality sector globally is facing unprecedented challenges.

“The Directors believe that the resort’s profitability will be positively impacted in the long-term as a result of operational adjustments enacted to address these risks.”

The course, which Trump built from scratch on 1,800 acres in 2005, has proved to be a divisive force within the local community. Legal challenges have sought to block the development of a second course as well as a sprawling housing development nearby that was to include luxury homes and resort lodges.

Plans for the 18-hole MacLeod Course, named after Trump’s Scottish mother Mary, were unveiled back in 2013 but ground had never been broken. Councilors in Aberdeenshire approved plans for the second course in 2019, and the next layer of government, a regional council, gave its stamp to the project in October of 2020.

The Trump Organization also submitted plans for more than 500 luxury homes to be built on the site.

“The council sided with Trump International,” Bob Ward with the London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment told the Associated Press. “They accepted the economic case over the environmental case.”

The original course has yet to turn a profit, and Trump has propped up the resort with interest-free loans of 40.6 million pounds, according to previous filings.

original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/01/02/donald-trump-international-golf-club-scotland-losing-money/

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