Donald Trump lands the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami
The Donald finally has a seat at the table on the PGA Tour.
The Trump Organization today announced that it will purchase the Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Miami’s iconic 800-acre property, for $150 million. Marriott will cede the management to The TRUMP HOTEL COLLECTION by June, leading to a massive property-wide renovation that Trump hopes to wrap up by fall 2013. The press release refers to Doral as the “Doral Hotel & Country Club” so maybe that’s Trump’s new name for the place.
Donald Trump has made no secret that he wants to be involved in golf at its highest levels. He’s hoping his Trump course in New Jersey lands a U.S. Open someday. With Doral – home to a pro golf tournament every year since 1962 – he’s got his foot in the door. Doral, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012, will host the Cadillac Championship, a World Golf Championship, in March.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of this news is the hiring of Gil Hanse to work on Doral’s Blue Monster Course. Trump wants Hanse to make it tougher and stronger.
I’ve been to Doral three times. This last trip, last November, was the best I’ve seen the resort look (see review here). A recent $16-million renovation has already refreshed the resort with two new excellent dining choices, the Mesazul Steakhouse and Bossa Nova Lounge, and had the Pritikin spa sparkling. But there was still nothing overwhelming about the rooms or the other courses.
Maybe Trump’s deep pockets can finally help Doral emerge from this bankruptcy in dramatic fashion. Doral’s Miami location just minutes from the airport is ideal for corporate travelers. Trump’s connections with his seven other hotels and 10 other courses should help feed business to Doral.
According to the press release, the “renovation of the main building, 10 lodges, conference areas, spa and Champions Pavilion will set a new tone for the resort, while the Members’ Clubhouse will be redesigned to include vastly upgraded facilities and amenities. All four golf courses will be enhanced, and the driving range will be lengthened and expanded to more than twice its current size.”
Although I’m curious what happens to Doral’s Great White Course, I actually think this is good fit for Doral’s future. Not everybody loves The Donald, but there’s no doubting his love and respect for the game. That will eventually shine down on Doral.
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