HIS name, for many in the United States and beyond, has long been mud. Now Donald Trump’s toxic political brand is proving contagious with a small Scots caravan park forced to change its name due to links with the President’s name.
America’s President has owned the once prestigious but now loss-making Turnberry golf resort since 2014.
The sometimes Open Championship course was always a name with which businesses vied to be associated. Not now.
Nearby Turnberry Holiday Park has decided to rebrand to underline that it has nothing to do with Mr Trump or his businesses. The static caravan site, which lies to the south of the gold resort, said it would drop “Turnberry” from its name to counter what it calls “the Trump effect.”
Andrew Howe, chief executive of Bridge Leisure Parks, which owns Turnberry Holiday Park, said: “In our own recent survey of more than 1,000 people, 32 per cent said they were less likely to travel to Turnberry because of the association with Trump.
“We have worked hard to make Turnberry a wonderful holiday park and are concerned that customers are put off due to the Trump effect.
“We’re proud of our historic association with Turnberry, but we are considering a new name that highlights the positive aspects of this wonderful part of the world. We are giving members of the public chance to have their say on a new name. They can head over to our Facebook Page to make their suggestions or share their views or concerns about any apparent link to the American President.”
The park – which, like the nearby Trump resort, overlooks Ailsa Craig and the Firth of Clyde – said it has had increased inquiries from potential customers checking whether it had anything to do with the Republican president.
The park said it attracts about 2,000 holidaymakers each year and has 200 holiday home owners. Bridge Leisure Parks said that over the past five years the park more than £1 million had been spent to build a new indoor pool and sauna; improve electrical infrastructure and drainage, and to add new caravan pitches.
Mr Trump formally handed over his business empire after he took office last year. He made a private visit to Turnberry this summer, interrupting a game of golf to wave to protesters who had gathered on the edge of his resort.
Trump Turnberry is understood to have lost £33m since it was taken over four years ago. Last week it posted new and reduced losses, of £3.4m. Mr Trump’s son, Eric Trump, stressed the business was recovering after a six-month closure for a revamp.
In filings at Companies House, he said: “Having seen a decline in turnover of 22 per cent in 2016 due to the resort only being open for six months, 2017 saw an increase in revenue year over year of 70%. It is expected that revenue will continue to increase in subsequent years as the property is re-established as an industry-leading resort.”
As The Herald revealed last month, the Scottish Government has withdrawn tax relief for the resort, one of two Mr Trump’s organisation owns in Scotland. Turnberry Hotel and Golf Resort was a purpose-built resort, opened, along with an adjacent railway station in 1906. Turnberry Holiday Park does not claim such a long pedigree. Nor does its website ignore its better known neighbour, though it suggests golfers could save by teeing off elsewhere on the Ayrshire coast.
It says: “Local attractions include the world-famous Turnberry golf course, with numerous alternatives if you want a links course without the premier prices.”
A whole caravan at the Turnberry Holiday Park is currently available for £210 for the October half term weekend. A family room – big enough for two adults and two children – at Trump Turnberry is available for £917. Couples wanting to experience the Trump brand can get room-only rates in one of Turnberry villas for £387. For £90 more you can have bed and breakfast.
Source : HeraldScotland