According to Bob Pool in the L.A. Times, Donald Trump wants to rename Ocean Trails Drive leading to his Trump National Los Angeles clubhouse. The city of Palos Verdes wants The Donald to rename the course Trump National Rancho Palos Verdes, or Trump National Palos Verdes, or Trump National Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Trump hasn't directly participated in the negotiations. He sent Vincent Stellio, a Trump company vice president, to last month's council meeting. Explaining the name change, Stellio said Trump merely wanted to capitalize on his golf course brand while distancing himself from the stigma of the Ocean Trails course's 1999 collapse and its bankruptcy.
Stellio added that Trump has started marketing the property as being on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. To prove it, he handed council members $30 golf hats with that name affixed to them.
"Originally, when we first came out, 'Los Angeles' seemed like the right thing to do because, basically, we're an East Coast company," Stellio said. "But with me spending some time out here, we realized that a better market standpoint is the peninsula. Pebble Beach is on a peninsula too."
Nothing gets by these guys!
Though The Donald has said that his course is the only California classics actually on the Pacific Ocean, and the only on a peninsula.
"Pebble Beach really isn't on the ocean. It's on Carmel Bay," Trump told Golf Digest in 2002.
How about Trump National on the Pacific Ocean of Palos Verdes Peninsula? Too many prepositional phrases? Wait...
Still, "if we market it externally outside, we'll probably refer to it as 'Palos Verdes Peninsula Los Angeles.' Internally, we'll be marketing it as you see on that hat."Trump National on the Pacific Ocean of Palos Verdes Peninsula Los Angeles. Now there's a name that works!
Stellio was on the line during Monday's interview with Trump, who seemed irritated by the street-name controversy.
"If they've pushed you around, Vinnie, I'm not interested in doing business with them," Trump said.
Meanwhile over in Scotland, The Donald has found a much more willing politician, and it may just jeopardize his project. From Scotland on Sunday:
Jack McConnell has been accused of breaking the ministerial code of conduct by backing a luxury golf resort planned for Scotland by billionaire Donald Trump.
Scotland on Sunday can reveal the First Minister's close association with Trump may have broken strict rules which require ministers to remain neutral about planning applications before they are decided.
The tycoon wants to invest £300m in a links course, luxury hotel and housing on the estate. But opponents of the plan say it will ruin one of Scotland's most pristine stretches of coastline. Despite the mounting concern, McConnell has already met Trump twice in the US, and had numerous phone calls with him.
But on planning issues, the ministerial code of conduct clearly stipulates that ministers "must do nothing which might be seen as prejudicial to that process, particularly in advance of the decision being taken".
It adds: "Action that might be viewed as being prejudicial includes meeting the developer or objectors to discuss the proposal, but not meeting all parties with an interest in the decision."