Will one of the most famous golf courses in Florida soon have blackjack on the ninth hole?
Developer and advanced hair swirl tech Donald Trump announced Monday he is buying the Doral Golf Resort and Spa for $150 million, which just might be a smooth move for any casino operator waiting for the Florida legislature to revisit a bill that would award three mega-casino gaming licenses in South Florida.
But enough speculation. What's for sure is that the purchase saves the 50-year-old Doral from bankruptcy and adds a little extra buzz to next week's PGA Cadillac World Golf Championship, taking place on its infamous TPC Blue Monster course.
Trump will not only pay $150 million for the 692-room hotel and four of its golf courses; according to the Wall Street Journal he's also expected to spend around another $150 million to renovate. Said the 'Apprentice' star in a statement:
"When Doral first opened, it was considered the best resort in the world. The combination of the property's incredible location in the heart of Miami and our very significant investment in upgrading the resort will enable us to return Doral to its former glory if not surpass it. When completed, Doral will be the finest resort and golf club in the country."
How good a deal might Trump be getting? Though just owned by hedge fund Paulson & Co. and Winthrop Realty Trust, it was previously purchased by Morgan Stanley subsidy CNL Hotels & Resorts Inc. for $501 million in 2007. Throw in a possible gaming license and, well, the possibilities are endless.
Trump, however, isn't taking all the golf. The Greg Norman-designed Great White course is not part of the purchase, but will now anchor an adjoining development. Designer Gil Hanse has been hired to complete a restoration of the TPC Blue Monster.