Fly the friendly skies…just not over Donald Trump’s club. Since Trump bought the Mar-a-Lago beachfront mansion of Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress to the Post cereal fortune, he has battled the City of West Palm Beach over the flight routes of Palm Beach International Airport.
Mar-a-Lago, which means Ocean to Lake, with its 9-hole golf course in the backyard, sits on the corner of Ocean Boulevard and Southern Boulevard on Palm Beach. The trouble is the Palm Beach International Airport also sits on Southern Boulevard, and with our prevailing ocean winds, jets take off and land into the wind, or right over Trump’s place.
Although planes had used this route for decades before Trump showed up with his checkbook, he has used the continuing threat of lawsuits to his advantage.
The Trump International Golf Course sits just south of the airport on reclaimed land once owned by PBIA. So Trump made the pitch, he would drop the lawsuit if they would sell or give him that land. They did and he built his famous golf club there. The club hosted the Tyco/ADT Classic for the LPGA for several years before Dennis Kozlowski raided Tyco for personal gain (remember the famous $15,000 shower curtain) by paying himself $81 million in bonuses and paying another Palm Beach resident, Jimmy Buffett, $250,000 to play for his wife’s birthday party. (On a side note, I guess the rate for wedding’s has gone up, since Rush Limbaugh just paid Elton John $1 million to play at his third wedding. His last wife, the lovely and gracious Marta, ex-aerobics instructor, moved to Jupiter Island to heal her wedding wounds). After Tyco went under and Kozlowski went to prison, the name was changed to the ADT Classic.
So the latest lawsuit once again pits Trump against the Airport Authority, who want to expand the runway….. you guessed it, right toward his place. Even though the last lawsuit was dismissed, with endlessly deep pockets, Trump can continue to refile lawsuits as needed to help his causes. So Trump Fights Airport!!!