by Peter O’Connell
THE Trump Organisation will employ 400 people at its newly acquired resort and golf club in Doonbeg, according to Donald J Trump.
Claiming prospective windfarms would “absolutely destroy tourism” in West Clare, the billionaire developer, in a extensive interview with The Clare Champion, also said the company intends investing “many, many millions” in the Clare facility, which his company purchased for a reported €15 million. The deal was formally signed on Tuesday.
“It was just confirmed and the money has been sent,” Mr Trump, who is chairman and president of The Trump Organisation, said on Tuesday evening.
“I would say we’re going to employ 400 people in total. It’s a lot of jobs,” he revealed, speaking from the US.
Mr Trump Snr, who will visit Doonbeg in about five weeks, said it was too early to say what the exact investment in the Trump International Golf Links Ireland would be. However, he said the investment would be very significant.
“I’d say many, many millions of dollars. One of the things we’ll be doing, in conjunction with the council and with the town, is a ballroom. Ballrooms provide a lot of jobs. It will be a very beautiful and luxurious ballroom because, right now, they’re using a tent. A tent is not the greatest thing in the world because it’s very flimsy. At the right time, we’ll be talking about a beautiful ballroom for the facility,” he stated.
“We’ll also be talking about a beautiful enhancement to the spa, including an indoor swimming pool. We’ll be talking about many things like that. So we’re going to spend many millions of dollars before we have it at the level we want it at,” he reiterated.
“The previous people, they really didn’t have the funds to make this into the ultimate dream. We do. When it’s completed, there will be nothing like it anywhere in Ireland and well beyond Ireland. With the price we paid, it allows me to do the kind of thing that has to be done to make this really spectacular. We’re going to be very focused on the hotel and we’ll have the golf course in the finest condition of any golf course in Ireland. We’re fixing the golf course from the storm, as you know. The storm was brutal in Ireland and caused a lot of damage,” he noted.
Mr Trump is confident that Doonbeg will be capable of hosting major golf tournaments in the coming years.
“I would certainly consider it once we have finished with fixing the course back into shape. As soon as I’m over there, I’m going to be looking it over very carefully. I’ll be there in about five weeks. Certainly, we would look to have tournaments and I think a lot of people want us to do that because we have a great facility for tournaments,” he replied.
Mr Trump said he places value on ongoing co-operation between the club and the West Clare community.
“The local community has not only got a lot invested but many of the [local] people work in Doonbeg,” he said, adding that local people may have felt the recent receivership could have signalled the resort’s demise. “That was a very scary period for the community, depending on what would happen with what we did. They’re [now] really happy. They’ve really been amazing. The Irish people have great, big warm hearts and they’ve really been so nice to us. We’re going to reciprocate that. We’re going to do a great job. Doonbeg will be in a class by itself in a very short period of time,” he predicted.
Mr Trump insists that Doonbeg will rival any of his 16 golf clubs worldwide.
“We have the greatest clubs anywhere in the world. Nobody has ever built anything like the portfolio that we have. We think Doonbeg will be right at the top of that list. We think it can be spectacular. I think it’s a spectacular place. It’s one of the best hotels anywhere. We’ll bring it to the highest level of golf and of success,” he forecast.
Mr Trump said the Trump National Doral in Miami will host the Cadillac World Golf Championship from March 6 to 9.
“Right now, I’m doing Trump National Doral where Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy and everybody is going to be next week for the world golf championship. It’s getting rave reviews from everybody. It’s a brand new club and it’s in a great location, 800 acres in the middle of Miami. We’ve gotten rave reviews for the course we built in Scotland. We’ve gotten raves everywhere we’ve gone. I enjoy doing it and we do it well but there’s never been a situation where any one company has taken it to this level. We think Doonbeg can be right at the top,” he repeated.
Mr Trump is very confident that the redeveloped Doonbeg resort will prove a huge economic boost to West Clare and Ireland.
“What you have there is the best location. I think, in the end, it will be something that Ireland is going to be very, very proud of. The very nice thing is that we’ve had such great support from Ireland and especially from the local community. When it’s done, Doonbeg and Ireland and everybody associated will be so proud of it,” he maintained.