Deeds and WeedsFebruary 4, 2009

Price Dropping on Trump's Scottish Project

Donald Trump still insists the golf course he is going to build in Scotland will be good enough to host a British Open. But now it's going to cost him $600 million less to build than he originally planned.

He can thank the sluggish economy and the declining value of the British pound for that.

The real estate mogul has been planning for several years to build a golf resort in Aberdeenshire. The project -- which has been hampered by a protracted battle between Trump and local Scottish officials over building permits and conservation approvals -- is supposed to consist of two golf courses, a 450-room hotel, 500 homes and 950 condominiums. In 2007 Trump estimated the project would cost $2 billion to build.

But in an interview this week with Bloomberg.com, Trump's spokesperson for the project, George Sorial, said the estimated cost of the project has plummeted, due to a number of factors: the price of building materials has dropped, the recession in Great Britain has forced construction companies to lower their bids and -- last but not least -- the value of the British pound has fallen against the U.S. dollar.

"On a fairly conservative basis, I certainly think a 30 percent saving is doable," Sorial told Bloomberg.com.

-- G.R.