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SBD Global/July 11, 2012/Facilities

Donald Trump, Scottish Golfers Tee Off At New Course Amid Controversy

Some of Scotland's top golfers teed off with Donald Trump at the opening of his controversial £1B ($1.5B) golf course in Aberdeenshire Tuesday "despite calls for a boycott from conservationists," according to Laurie Tuffrey of the London GUARDIAN. The Scottish Wildlife Trust wrote an open letter urging golfers Colin Montgomerie, Paul Lawrie and Martin Laird not to play at the Trump Int'l Golf Links course at Menie Estate. The organization said it was built on "a unique, protected area" with "nationally important landforms and wildlife." In '08 Scottish ministers assessed the economic benefits outweighed the environmental costs and gave Trump the "go-ahead for stabilsation of the dunes" to build the resort (GUARDIAN, 7/10). The SCOTSMAN noted Trump "cut a ribbon on the first tee" and said, "When I bought this land almost seven years ago we said we wanted to make the best course in the world, and some people are already saying we have done that." The course and clubhouse have cost more than £100M ($155.2M). The course will open to the public on Sunday with a "series of private events" this week. Trump Int'l said that 160 jobs have been created so far with positions in management, catering and course maintenance (SCOTSMAN, 7/10). BLOOMBERG's Peter Woodifield noted that the golf course's opening comes just as "You've Been Trumped" hits movie theaters in the U.K. The film criticizes the way Trump, 66-years-old, "bulldozed the wishes of neighboring landowners to build the course" among sand dunes on the 1,400-acre estate, 10 miles north of Aberdeen on Scotland's coast. Trump "put on hold plans" to build a second golf course after a "public row" with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who wanted to build an offshore wind farm overlooking the course. Trump is also delaying a 450-bed, five-star hotel, 500 homes and 950 short-term rental apartments (BLOOMBERG, 7/10).
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