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Trump buys Colts Neck golf club

24 September, 2008

Trump buys Colts Neck golf club

24th September 2008

Colts Neck deal goes ahead for for $28m to give Donald Trump 2 courses in New Jersey

As previously reported, Donald Trump is bringing his Midas touch to Colts Neck. The real estate mogul, who has a passion for golf courses and playing golf, has purchased the Shadow Island Golf Club, now the Trump National Golf Club, in Colts Neck.

Trump, who owns a string of courses throughout the country including his Trump National in Bedminster, has plans to turn the 350-acre site into one of the finest golf clubs in the entire state and the best along the Jersey Shore.

"The first time I saw it I immediately spotted the potential," said Trump at a news conference on Sept. 17 held in the clubhouse, announcing his purchase of the club for a reported $28 million. "It was an absolute knockout and it's a great area."

Trump remarked that the last thing he wanted to do was to own a second golf club in New Jersey, but Shadow Island was too good to turn down. He pointed out that he wouldn't be at the press conference "if I wasn't knocked out by the potential."

The potential began with the course itself, which was designed by Jerry Pate, a U.S. Open champion. Although changes will be made to the course, Trump remarked that it won't require a major overhaul because "it's a great course."

Secondly, Trump liked the clubhouse, the biggest in the state. He wants to make it the belle of the ball, the place to go for wedding receptions, banquets and bar mitzvahs.

"We're going to make this real special," he said. "It's going to bring a lot of business to Colts Neck."

The club will add hard-court tennis courts and an Olympic-size swimming pool. It will be a club where a family can spend the entire day. A new maintenance center will be erected as well. Trump noted he will be spending a lot of money upgrading the club and its facilities.

One of the first things that will be done at the club is work on the road leading to the clubhouse. Trump believes first impressions are important and he wants the drive up to the clubhouse to be memorable. The widening of the entrance road will begin shortly.

Trump thanked the Colts Neck committee, Planning Board and community in general whose "support has been fantastic."

As for what drives Trump to get involved in projects like this?

"I love taking things and making them better," he said. "I love this kind of job."

There is a potential for the course eventually hosting a PGA (Professional Golfer's Association) event, according to Trump.

"The PGA has been here and is in love with it," he said. "Once we fix it and make it great, they will want us." Trump will be no stranger to the golf club. He pointed out that he owns golf clubs only in cities and areas that he goes to. He likes to get to know the members of his clubs.

One thing that Trump plans on doing is to keep the club exclusive. He envisioned club membership not exceeding 300. He wants to avoid members having to call ahead of time for a tee time.

Joe Louro, a native of Freehold Township who was the chairman of the board at Shadow Island, was head of the search committee that was weighing all the different proposals to purchase the club. In the end, he said, it was a no-brainer going with Trump.

"He is passionate about business and his golf courses," he said. "When I visited Bedminster and got to see how it's run, it [Trump] was the only way to go."

Louro noted that the membership vote to go with Trump was unanimous among all 117 members.

Louro also pointed to the positive impact that the Trump National Golf Club will have on the entire Freehold area, not just Colts Neck.

"This is a great day for Colts Neck, Monmouth County and the club," he said. "This is going to be a beautiful family place with tennis courts and a swimming pool.

"For the real estate market, it's going to lift up a slow market," he added. "Friends of Donald Trump who never looked at this area before are looking to move here."

By: Tim Morris - News Transcript


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