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Trump is still losing millions at his golf resorts in Scotland

Trump is still losing millions at his golf resorts in Scotland
President Trump waves to protesters while playing golf at Turnberry golf club, in Turnberry, Scotland, in July. (Peter Morrison / Associated Press)

After sinking more than $196 million into his Scottish golf courses, President Trump has yet to make a profit.

His two resorts posted a combined loss of $6.07 million in 2017, according to the latest filings in the United Kingdom. Of that, Trump’s flagship Turnberry 800-acre resort on Scotland’s west coast lost $4.42 million, the fourth consecutive annual deficit since he bought the club in 2014.

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The results, some of the few that have been disclosed for Trump’s businesses worldwide, show he’s had to pump millions into the resorts to cover shortfalls while trying to cap costs. Trump’s son Eric, who was upbeat last year about the prospects for Turnberry to make a profit, this year called the Scottish golf business "competitive and challenging, factors that can be heightened by adverse weather conditions."

It raises questions about whether the backlash against his divisive presidency has harmed the business. Trump’s visit to his Scottish resorts in July sparked demonstrations in Glasgow and Edinburgh while the Scottish government demanded the U.K. refund policing costs for the weekend, which followed his meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May.

The loss at Turnberry at least was smaller than the $23.03 million in 2016, when Trump closed the resort for six months to renovate the hotel and open another course.

Losses from the Trump resort near Aberdeen on the North Sea coast declined slightly, to $1.65 million from $1.85 million in 2016, though revenue also fell. The Trump Organization moved to cut costs by reducing staff. Trump, who has spent years clashing with locals over planning and environmental concerns, hasn’t made a profit from his Aberdeen resort since opening it in 2012.

"The crash in the oil price and economic downturn experienced in the northeast of Scotland has, however, resulted in a drop to local spending and consequently revenues have decreased by 3 percent," Eric Trump wrote in a letter accompanying the accounts. "By establishing cost controls and containment, the property was able to reduce its loss."

Despite the challenges, the Trump Organization plans to spend another $196.3 million building 500 homes, 50 vacation cottages and sports facilities as well as shopping and equestrian facilities to expand the Aberdeen resort, saying it will do so with its own financing.

The company submitted plans to Aberdeenshire Council for approval, saying the second phase of the development will create 300 full-time jobs. It expects to start work next year if it wins planning approval.

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