From the early days of C&RB, we kept having encounters with Donald Trump that now, upon reflection, make it clear why no one should really be surprised he’s now going to be our next President.
Looking back, I can now see there were many signs that should have tipped us off to what was coming. From the earliest days of C&RB, we kept having encounters with Donald Trump that, upon collective reflection, make it clear why no one should really be surprised he’s now going to be our next President. Over the past 11 years, the man kept giving us personal demonstrations of his unique approach to cultivating a captive audience and creating a world that the rest of us just live in.
It started in 2006, a little over a year after we’d launched C&RB. We got an invitation to attend the opening of The Estates at Trump National, a community adjacent to his golf club south of Los Angeles. We sent a representative who then filed this report:
“When I introduced myself as being there for Club & Resort Business, Trump responded in typical, larger-than-life fashion, ‘That’s a great publication.’ He acted as if he’d just been reading the latest issue in the limo while coming to the course. Others who were there told me he makes it a point to treat each guest like he or she is the only person in the room. And I fell for it hook, line and sinker. Don’t care. It was Trump.”
Then there was the time I was walking in the Orlando Convention Center while attending the Golf Industry Show, and looked up just in time to avoid being crushed by attendees who were literally running alongside Trump, getting him to sign hats and programs, as he and his contingent speed-walked down the corridor. And the time that Dan Ramella, C&RB’s President, had an Irish golfing vacation disrupted when Trump’s airplane suddenly swooped in and brought all other traffic to a halt as he held a press conference on the tarmac.
In January 2015, we featured Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.—which has now already emerged as the new Camp David for the Trump Administration—as our cover story. We used a photo of the Bedminster management team with Trump on the cover, which we then asked the staff to have him sign. This gave us our first look at his distinctive “electrocardiogram” signature, which provided further insight into his “if you don’t already know who I am, figure it out on your own” style.
Since Trump won the election, there have been a flood of articles trying to analyze how his management of clubs and hotel properties might provide clues as to how he will run the country. Most of these fail to give any importance to the fact that he has built up such a portfolio, which in itself would seem to indicate he might have a much better chance of actually getting things done than previous White House occupants. Based on our own experience visiting his clubs, talking with people who work for his organization and running into him ourselves at seemingly every turn, we know one thing for sure: You won’t have a hard time seeing how it all turns out.