Donald Trump's Scotland Golf Resorts Lost More Than $8 Million in 2020

Donald Trump's golf resorts in Scotland lost more than $8 million (£6.6 million) in 2020, records show.

Both of the former president's resorts in the country—Trump Turnberry in Ayrshire and Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire—suffered substantial losses last year despite receiving millions in government grants, according to financial reports their operating companies filed with the U.K. government this week.

Trump Turnberry saw turnover plummet from $26.37 million (£19.7million) in 2019 to $8.97 million (£6.7 million) in 2020, according to the report filed by Golf Recreation Scotland Ltd, which owns the resort. The company saw an operating loss of $7.1 million (£5.3. million) in 2020, the records show. It lost $2.72 million (£2.3 million) in 2019.

Trump International Golf Club Scotland Limited, which owns Trump's resort in Aberdeenshire, saw turnover drop from $4.38 million (£3.3 million) in 2019 to $1.47 million (£1.1 million) in 2020, according to its report.

Donald Trump plays golf
Donald Trump gestures as he walks during a round of golf at Trump Turnberry in Ayrshire, Scotland, on July 14, 2018. Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images

The resort recorded a loss of $1.74 million (£1.3 million) in 2020, marking nine years in a row without a profit. The business lost $1.47 million (£1.1 million) in 2019.

Reports signed by Trump's son Eric Trump, as director of both companies, blamed the losses on the resorts being closed for long stretches during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump Turnberry was closed from March 23 to July 15 in 2020 and again from November 20 until April 26, according to the records.

The Turnberry resort received $3.08 million (£2.3 million) from the U.K. government under its coronavirus job retention (furlough) scheme, according to the records. The BBC reported that a subsidiary company, SLC Turnberry Ltd., made further claims for government grants of between £435,000 and £1.1m from January to August this year, citing government data not included in the published records.

Yet the company's accounts show the average number of employees at the resort dropped from 541 in 2019 to 289 in 2020.

"Government support was helpful to retain as many jobs as possible, however uncertainty of the duration of support and the pandemic's sustained impact meant that redundancies were required to prepare the business for the long term effects to the hospitality industry," Eric Trump said in the report.

Donald Trump's International Golf Links course
Donald Trump's International Golf Links course clubhouse is pictured behind the 18th hole, north of Aberdeen on the east coast of Scotland on June 25, 2016. Michal Wachucik/AFP via Getty Images

He continued that "demand has been strong" at Turnberry in 2021 despite restrictions on inbound travel" and that "many weddings and functions" had been scheduled for 2021 and 2022.

"There is confidence that the future of the resort is strong," he added.

The report for the Aberdeenshire resort said COVID-19 restrictions had a "direct impact" on the company's poor performance in 2020.

Nevertheless, Eric Trump said in the report that the business "continues to rank highly in the world golf rankings and plays an important part in the global Trump portfolio.'

All resort facilities had been mandated to close on March 21 last year, according to the report, but while golf was allowed from May 6 onwards, the Macleod House hotel remained closed throughout 2020.

"The UK Government Furlough Scheme was helpful to retain as many jobs as possible, and the majority of employees were reinstated over the course of the year," the report said. Trump International Golf Club Scotland Limited received about $605,000 (£452,000) from the scheme in 2020, according to the company's financial statements.

It also claimed between $114,000 (£85,000) and $275,000 (£205,000) from the scheme between January and August 2021, according to the BBC.

The average number of employees at the resort fell from 84 in 2019 to 63 in 2020, according to the records.

The report also noted: "While there is confidence that with the easing of restrictions there is pent-up demand from both leisure and business markets, it is clear that there is still a threat of further restrictions being imposed if COVID-19 case levels rise or new variants emerge.

"Brexit has also impacted business, as supply chains are disrupted, and the labour market is reduced. Transportation, freight and import duty charges are also increasing, along with the overall cost of goods rising."

Representatives for Eric Trump have been contacted for comment.