DONALD Trump yesterday announced plans for a major investment at the famous Turnberry Hotel after finalising his takeover of the iconic golf resort.
The US tycoon has pledged to spend a minimum of £100m to enhance the five-star hotel at the South Ayrshire course.
The resort will also be renamed Trump Turnberry and wrapped into the property developer’s expanding portfolio of luxury golfing destinations around the world.
The Trump Organisation, which will own and manage Turnberry, also revealed it has retained the services of golf architect, Martin Ebert, amid plans to alter the famous course.
After completing the purchase of the resort for an undisclosed sum from the Dubai-based group, Leisurecorp, Mr Trump said he was determined to make Turnberry “the finest resort of its kind anywhere in the world.”
In a statement, he said: “I am honoured to own and manage this magnificent property, perhaps the most exciting property there is. We will be spending a great deal of time, effort and money to make Trump Turnberry the finest resort of its kind anywhere in the world.
“I would like to thank Starwood Hotels & Resorts for working with us, in the best interest of property, to bring about this historic acquisition.”
The hotel will be included in the Luxury Collection brand as part of a franchise agreement with Starwood.
Mr Trump added: “I would also like to thank all representatives in South Ayrshire for their support and wonderful statements to the media.”
On a visit to Scotland last month, the businessman did not reveal the price tag he had met to secure Turnberry, only saying that he had paid ‘’a lot’.” The purchase brings the number of golf resorts owned by the property magnate to 17.
Yesterday, Mr Trump offered no further details about his plans for the hotel, other than saying he would invest at least £100m towards “renovating” the existing structure.
On the recommendation of the Royal & Ancient, golf’s governing body, Mr Trump has also hired Mr Ebert. Both men are set to attend a press conference on 2 July where further details of their plans for the resort will be unveiled.
Last month, Mr Trump said he would be making “tweaks” to the course as opposed to a full-scale redesign. He also also said he will not be making any changes to Turnberry without the approval of the R&A.
“It’s going to be spectacular. It’s rated the number one course in the world and we’re going to be working with the Royal & Ancient on certain things that are going to be even more spectacular,” he explained.
Turnberry, the first purpose-planned golfing resort in Britain, has hosted the Open Championship four times, most recently in 2009.
It was the setting for the famous 1977 Duel in the Sun where Tom Watson triumphed over Jack Nicklaus in what is regarded as one of the most famous golf matches of all time.
The signing of the deal represents a surprise U-turn for Mr Trump’s business dealings in Scotland. In February, he suggested he had no further plans to invest in country following a controversial and drawn-out dispute over a planned offshore wind farm near his Menie Estate golf resort in Aberdeenshire.
Mr Trump has been a vehement critic of the scheme, which he claimed would spoil the view from his coastline course. His campaign against the wind farm included an open letter to First Minister Alex Salmond.
Plans for a second golf course, clubhouse and hotel on the same site remain on hold amid the ongoing argument.
“This is my baby, I’m very proud of it,” he has said of his Aberdeenshire course. “I think we might have built the best course in the world. We’ve been rated so well.
“As soon as they give up this charade of these terrible, destructive windmills, which are destroying Scotland, we will continue onwards. As soon as they stop the craziness, which nobody wants, we will get going.”