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Trump card: Golf club members take to Web to support Trump purchase

Donald Trump has some outspoken fans at The Point Lake and Golf Club in Mooresville. And the real estate mogul will be meeting with them tomorrow at the club as he and his son Eric Trump come to town for more discussions with club officials about buying the property.

The deal has been contentious at times over the past six months as the New York-based Trump Organization considers adding the Mooresville facility to its portfolio of golf course properties known around the world. Last month, though, some property owners who like the idea of selling the club to Trump put up a website to show their support at www.yestotrump.com.

Eric Trump

Eric Trump (Associated Press photo)

“The positive response we’ve gotten from the members is unbelievable,” Eric Trump said today in reaction to the website. “For a group of members to put that site together is really terrific. I’ve gotten hundreds of letters, emails and calls saying it will increase their real estate values and make the club a much better asset.”

Members of the club took ownership of the property from previous owners Crescent Communities as of Jan. 1. On Jan. 31, club members voted on whether to continue negotiating with Trump. Club members got different numbers of votes depending on their level of membership – or what is known as “weighted ballots.”

Of a possible 2,079 votes, 1,085 were cast in favor of going forward with negotiations. The group is now preparing to take a vote on whether or not Trump should be allowed to purchase the property, which is scheduled to take place after the meeting with the Trumps tomorrow. The members have until April 30 to make a decision on whether they want to pay Crescent’s asking price of $3 million to take over the club themselves. If they don’t come to a consensus on the $3 million price by the deadline, the price will be $5 million to Crescent.

Organizers of the website refused to comment for this story, but yestotrump.com is filled with research and fact-checking to show support for the deal and debunk what site organizers call myths about the proposed deal with the Trump organization.

In one myth section, organizers at yestotrump.com took issue with some of the reporting of the voting results in local media

“The results of the straw vote were published. On an unweighted basis 379 people voted yes, 231 voted no. 140 members voted yes that do not have golf privileges. On March 2, the board voted 5-4 to approve the Trump proposal. Seriously, stop talking to the press. This is a private club and you are embarrassing the club and yourself,” they wrote on the site.

In another myth section, yestotrump.com organizers try to disprove the idea that Trump is getting the club for less than market value.

“Trump is paying Crescent $3 million,” they wrote. “He is depositing $2 million in an account to fund capital improvements, and he is assuming the club liability which has a discounted present value of $2.8 million. The $1.7 million in the club fund will not go to Trump, it will go into the account for capital improvement. This account will thus have $3.7 million in it which must be spent to improve the club within 36 months.”

Eric Trump corroborated the plan to make almost immediate improvements if his company purchases the club, although he did not give any timeline for the construction.

“We are going to put millions of dollars into the facility. We want to make this the best golf course and country club in Charlotte and in the state,” Trump said. “We want to immediately build two new tennis courts. The tennis program has been very successful there and we think they need at least two new courts. We want to renovate the pool facility and the clubhouse.”

Trump also said the service at the club needs to be “synonymous with our other clubs and hotels and given the general white glove treatment that we expect and people expect from us.”

He also said the tees, markers, greens and driving range at the golf course would be improved.

“I’ve been to the club maybe five or six times and I certainly would be traveling down on a weekly basis especially during the transition and the construction,” Trump said, and hinted he may be looking for somewhere to stay while in the Charlotte area soon. “We want to get the club to a quality level and a standard synonymous with our name.”

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