Trump Boosts Loans to Scottish Golf Courses Amid Mounting Losses
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump faced mounting losses at his Scottish golf resorts last year, forcing him to pour more cash into the properties to cover the shortfall.
Losses at Trump Turnberry more than doubled to 17.6 million pounds ($23 million) in 2016 while revenue fell 21 percent to 9 million pounds, according to accounts filed in the U.K. The company attributed the loss to currency fluctuations and the resort being closed for renovation for six months of the year. Trump flew to Turnberry to reopen the resort on June 24, 2016, the day after the U.K. voted to leave the European Union.
Trump’s course north of Aberdeen also posted widening losses of 1.4 million pounds, an increase of 28 percent, while revenue fell 12 percent. The company said the drop in revenue was due to the fall in the price of oil, the subsequent downturn in the economy of northeast Scotland and a severe winter storm which damaged part of the site.
Trump has poured millions into both of his courses in Scotland but neither has made a profit under his ownership. Turnberry has been Trump’s most costly investment. In 2016, he increased his loan to the company to 112 million pounds, up from 63 million pounds the year before, as he renovated Turnberry’s hotel and reconfigured its championship golf course. Trump loaned an additional 1.2 million pounds to his resort north of Aberdeen in response to declining revenue and an increase in net liabilities, bringing the total amount he’s loaned the company to 40.6 million pounds.
The Aberdeen property, which Trump opened in 2012, has faced stiff opposition from local residents and authorities for years because of planning and environmental issues involved in constructing a golf course on delicate sand dunes. Trump also lost a court battle to try to stop an offshore wind farm that he said would mar the views from the property. His plan to build a second course north of Aberdeen is awaiting planning approval.
Trump has continued to pour money into Turnberry, adding a second 18-hole layout that opened in June 2017. Eric Trump, who has overseen Turnberry’s overhaul during his father’s campaign and entry into the White House, wrote in a note attached to the accounts that they are trying to turn the resort into Scotland’s leading destination for weddings, conferences and events in addition to golf.