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Donald Trump’s Bronx Golf Course Lease Transferred to Bally’s Casino

Title: Trump Relinquishes Lease for Bronx Golf Course to Bally’s Casino Chain

In a significant development, former President Donald Trump’s name will be removed from a city-owned golf course in the Bronx as part of an agreement that sees the Trump Organization selling its contract to Bally’s casino chain. This deal, worth tens of millions of dollars, comes after a prolonged battle with the city of New York.

The Trump Organization had been operating the Trump Golf Links Ferry Point under a 20-year lease that was initiated in 2015. This lease had been a source of contention, particularly after the Capitol riot, which led former Mayor Bill de Blasio to seek its cancellation. Now, in a strategic move, the Trump Organization has handed over this lease to Bally’s.

The transfer of the lease, seen as a multimillion-dollar gamble by Bally’s, hinged on approvals from the city’s Parks Department and Comptroller Brad Lander, both of which were granted on Thursday. Consequently, Trump’s contract with the Parks Department, which was initially set to extend until 2035, is now slated to conclude on September 21, according to records from the city comptroller’s website.

Under Bally’s ownership, the golf course will be rebranded as “Bally’s Links,” marking the removal of the conspicuous “TRUMP LINKS” sign, a prominent feature for drivers crossing the Whitestone Bridge from Queens.

City Comptroller Brad Lander expressed his satisfaction, stating, “I am delighted that Trump’s name will no longer deface city parkland.” The Parks Department spokesperson also voiced support for the transition, expecting that Bally’s will maintain a high-quality golfing experience for New Yorkers.

In addition to taking over the lease, Bally’s intends to purchase the 17 acres upon which the golf course is situated. Furthermore, the company has agreed to acquire an additional 17 acres near the site for donation to the Parks Department. This transaction will require state approval.

Bally’s strategic move in the Bronx positions it favorably to secure a highly coveted gaming license in New York. With racinos Resorts World and Empire City anticipated to secure two of the three full-scale licenses in the area, Bally’s proximity to a major highway, frequented by approximately 40 million drivers annually, presents a distinct advantage. This location away from densely populated areas could potentially reduce political opposition.

Former President Trump, who had 12 years remaining on the lease, stood to gain substantially from the sale. In 2013, he secured the lease from then-Mayor Mike Bloomberg, after the city invested over $127 million to transform a former landfill into a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. Trump’s payments to the city included about $5 million over the past eight years, along with an additional $10 million for the construction of a clubhouse in 2019. Trump’s payments were structured such that he didn’t owe anything to the city for the initial four years. Subsequently, he was required to pay the higher of $300,000 or 7% of gross revenues annually, which increased over time.

The golf course has consistently generated profits between $2.5 million and $5 million each year.

Bally’s plans include building a gaming complex on the location of the former clubhouse and its parking lot. It also involves constructing a tunnel beneath the highway to connect the golf course with the underutilized areas of the property.

Despite these plans and investments, there is no assurance that the city will renew Bally’s land rights when the lease expires in 2035. Bally’s had initially sought an 80-year contract, but this proposal was declined by the Parks Department.

The Trump Golf Links Ferry Point golf course, spanning 18 holes and 7,400 yards, has been known for its relatively high fees, charging $171 during weekdays and $205 on weekends, significantly more than other municipal courses in the city. Notably, it hosted an LPGA event last October, sponsored by the Saudi Arabian government.

Efforts to dissociate the golf course from its association with Donald Trump began in 2021 when then-Mayor de Blasio attempted to terminate the lease following the January 6 Capitol riot. A court ruling in April 2022 deemed the termination of the contract unlawful in response to Trump’s lawsuit against the city.

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Ruben Jay
Ruben Jay
Ruben Jay is an American broadcaster, media blogger, and podcast host. Currently, Ruben is the President of MultiMediaMouth.com and the executive producer and host of the popular podcasts You’re My Best Friend and ON AIR with Ruben Jay, exclusively on MultiMediaMouth.com. Follow Ruben on Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok @TheRubenJay.

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