Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Trump to the rescue?

The mayor of the Israeli coastal city of Netanya, which was hit by a suicide bombing recently, said that billionaire Donald Trump is planning to help build a huge beachfront hotel complex there.

According to the mayor, Miriam Fireberg-Ikar, a top Trump business associate visited the city three times on his private jet and was planning to build a number of hotels on 38 acres of empty seaside real estate.
We are talking about 2,500 rooms in several three, four and five-star hotels at the southern end of Netanya's beach, next to an 8-mile promenade.

The Trump associate, Michael Dezer, claims that there are plans for a $500 million hotel complex, despite the recent a suicide bomber who killed himself and five others at the city's main mall.
Dezer came up with the hotel idea six months ago when Fireberg-Ikar was visiting Miami. He said he contacted Trump, who agreed to join the project.

Netanya was actually named after the philanthropist Nathan Straus, the owner of Macy's department store in New York at the turn of the century. The city is located 20 miles north of Tel Aviv and boasts some of Israel's best beaches.
Netanya has been among the Israeli cities hardest hit by terrorism, severely damaging its tourism industry.
According to Israeli-born Dezer, “Bombings are a part of life in Israel. We are used to it, and it doesn't change a thing."

Needless to say, the Israeli media jumped on this story.
The leading Israeli daily Maariv ran a front-page headline reading:

"Coming Soon: Trump Hotels in Netanya."

However, Trump spokeswoman Norma Foerderer would not confirm the involvement of the star of NBC's hit reality show "The Apprentice", saying it was "premature" to talk about the Netanya project.

That makes me wonder…is it a clever PR trick of Fireberg-Ikar to boost the image of her city? Time will tell, but in the mean time, linking her own and the city’s name to the Trumpster is not a bad move at all….

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