Donald Trump...You're Fired!

Peter HughesSenior Analyst INovember 4, 2008

Donald Trump, the billionaire property developer, may have coerced or even charmed the Scottish Nationalist Party into granting him permission to build high-rise timeshare flats, a eight-story hotel and what he terms "the world's greatest golf course" on an ecologically sensitive stretch of dunes overlooking the North Sea.

The question is: Has the New York-based businessman, who says he was "greatly honoured" after Scottish ministers in Edinburgh confirmed his dream, bitten off more than he can chew?

Over recent years, entrepreneurs from America and the Far East, hoping to cash in on the golf craze, have speculated huge sums investing in new golf complexes throughout the United Kingdom, and many of their ventures have crumbled into dust.

In England, two of the causalities were Wentworth and the Oxfordshire Club, bought by Japanese investors during the 1980s and sold at a loss some years later.

Loch Lomond, opened with a flourish in 1994, designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, with the former almost killed before the first ball was struck, is estimated to have cost several million pounds.

Membership is restricted to only a chosen few, including Prince Edward, Duke of York.

Only last week, reports in the media stated the complex is up for sale by its owners, The Anderson Companies of Scottsdale, Ariz.

Trump may have made some friends in "Auld Reekie" (Edinburgh), but he has certainly made some foes in the Highlands of Scotland, in particular, Michael Forbes, a salmon fisherman, who with his wife, Sheila, owns a 23-acre spread of rambling farm buildings, located beside the future site of the world's greatest golf course.

Donald Trump has offered Michael Forbes £450,000 for his home at Mill of Menie and had his cash totally turned down.

Michael said, "They reckon the construction will last over 10 years, but I'll never, ever sell to that loudmouth bully."

Another local comment is "Trump's development is about flogging fancy apartments to the landed gentry in Pringle sweaters."

Could it be a New York high flyer falls to a Highlander?