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Donald Trump Gutting Florida's Doral Golf Resort and Spa to Rebuild
and Rebrand Property as Trump National Doral

$250 million Renovation to be Staged Over a Two Period

By Elaine Walker, The Miami HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

March 07, 2013--For Donald Trump, the $250 million remodeling of Doral Golf Resort & Spa is a bid for five-star style.

All 693 hotel rooms will be gutted down to the steel and completely rebuilt with what Trump calls the "highest standards of luxury." Designed by Ivanka Trump in cooperation with Wimberly Interiors, the look aims for classic opulence, with a neutral color scheme, mahogany furnishings and gold-leaf Spanish revival accents. There's even a polished gold telephone on the nighstand that looks befitting of Trump himself.

"This is going to be the finest golf resort in the country," said Donald Trump, who was in town this week for the PGA Tour's World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship and touting his plans to the media. Trump purchased the Doral resort and four of its five golf courses out of bankruptcy a year ago for $150 million

"We're going to make this into one of the great places on earth in terms of the resort and luxury accommodations," he said. "This will be a brand new magnificent place that everyone in Miami can be proud of."

Trump plans to keep the same number of rooms, although he may increase the number of suites. Over time, Trump says he would consider adding more rooms to the almost 800-acre resort, where the rooms are spread across 10 lodges.

It will be rebranded as Trump National Doral.

The resort will remain open during the remodeling, which will be staged over a two year period. Some work -- such as refashioning the front entrance --has already started.

"We're doing fantastic business, even during the reconstruction," Trump said. "It takes a little longer this way. But we have so many fantastic employees, I don't want to say 'come back in two years.' I want to protect our great employees and keep our employees. It's actually more expensive doing it this way."

Is he planning to try to get casino gambling at Doral if the state approves gambling resorts?

"I think gambling is a good thing for Miami," he said. "Whether we have a casino or not doesn't matter to me. Even if I don't have a casino it would be good for Doral because it's going to bring an influx of people to Miami."

In addition to remodeling the hotel rooms, Trump's $250 million overhaul will include revamping the golf courses, spa, ballrooms, restaurants, bars and clubhouse. First on the agenda is remaking the Blue Monster championship course, a process that starts next week. After that is completed by the end of 2013, Trump will begin work on the red and gold courses.

A deal is in the works to bring in a prominent restaurant concept to take over one of the property's signature locations, said son Eric Trump.

While golf courses are Trump's passion, the resort itself holds some sentimental value because he used to visit on childhood vacations and later brought his own family there.

"This is the best location in the country," Trump said. "It's been very successful over the years but frankly it hasn't been kept up to the standards that it should."


(c)2013 The Miami Herald

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