Trump Golf Course Deal In the Bronx Is A Good Thing

The most fascinating local golf development in years is Donald Trump’s takeover of a seemingly dead-in-the-water project to build a new public golf course in The Bronx.

On January 18, New York City officially approved a deal for Trump to manage the course, which will be located at Ferry Point Park and open in 2014.  Under the agreement, the city (in other words, taxpayers) will be responsible for the estimated $184 million construction of the course, while Mr. Trump will manage the facility and build a $10 million clubhouse.  He’ll also pay the city an annual licensing fee – but not until the fifth year of the deal – which will increase each year, and amount to between $300,000-$470,000 per year.  According to reports, “Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point Park” will charge golfers $125 on weekends and $100 during the week.

The news has been met with a firestorm of criticism, both from local media and politicians, who are incensed that Trump walked away with a “sweetheart deal.”  Taxpayers, they say, should not have to suffer while “The Donald” lines his pockets, running a swanky golf course, which can only be afforded by the area’s elite.

The fact is, however, that this project has been a debacle for nearly 15 years and finally has a semblance of hope.  Development has been delayed by ineptitude, environmental issues, and even the mob.

Of course, nobody wants to pay more taxes – and politicians don’t want to be the ones responsible for levying those taxes.  But this is a potentially exciting new attraction in the Bronx.  The city will benefit from any well-run operation, no matter what it is. If history is any indication, Trump will turn this into another one of his excellent golf facilities, which will, in turn, generate revenue for the city in multiple ways – including possible future PGA tournaments and television revenue.

Furthermore, it will be a shot-in-the-arm for local golfers, particularly in the five boroughs, to have a thrilling new public golfing option.  The city’s existing courses are poorly run and in serious need of a facelift.  Some of those courses are now charging almost $75 per round for golf at mediocre facilities.  The closest quality public course to New York City is at least 30-40 minutes away.  A new Trump-run course – while on the expensive end – could be a welcome addition to the local golf scene.

Donald Trump is a lightning rod, who, by design, draws attention to anything he does.  Without a doubt, much of the flack for the deal for “Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point” is because of the man involved.  He’s brash, he’s arrogant, he’s audacious – and many people don’t like him.  But he sure knows how to run a golf course.

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