No idea is ever too grand for the Donald, even when it comes to the afterlife.
The real estate tycoon, who is best known for the catch-phrase, “You’re fired” from his television show “The Apprentice,” wants to spend eternity, not in the cosmopolitan lifestyle he is accustomed to, but in the serenity and bucolic, peaceful scenery of Bedminster, New Jersey.
Donald Trump is eyeing a plot in a 1.5 acre site beside his aptly-named Trump National Golf Course in the exclusive township of Somerset County, which lies in the northern part of the Garden State.
There, wealthy country club-goers, like Trump, pay membership dues of up to $300,000 annually. According to the 2000 census, the racial makeup in the town was a reportedly 90 percent white.
Trump, who is widely known for his flamboyant style and strong opinions, owns several golf courses throughout the United States as well as in Scotland and Puerto Rico, but Bedminster say Trump insiders holds a special place in his heart.
The Donald is also known for not mincing words and has beckoned U.S. Open representatives to hold a championship at his award-winning golf course. So far he has been unsuccessful in his attempts.
In 2007, the 65 year old filed drawings with Somerset County to build a family mausoleum that called for a 19-foot-high, classical-style stone structure to be erected alongside the first hole at the National Golf Club that features two courses.
According to the Star Ledger, the mausoleum was to have four imposing obelisks surrounding its exterior and a small altar and six vaults inside. But Trump withdrew the plan after it drew criticism from local officials who argued it would be an eyesore among the horse farms and manicured rolling hills. Some even went so far as to call his memorial “gaudy” and out-of-step with the town’s rural character.
Trump, who says he has a 4 handicap, just may revisit his old burial plans.
Despite township officials voicing their reluctance over Trump’s plans for eternity, municipal records show they gave it their blessing this past summer with a resolution allowing the plan to be submitted to the state’s Cemetery Board.
According to minutes of the meeting, Council members expressed concern about the size of possible structures on the site, saying they could be "overwhelming and garish".
Bedminster Mayor Robert Holtaway said he feared Trump’s final resting place could become a tourist destination and even compared Trump’s plot to that of a burial spot of a Nazi war criminal.
According to minutes of that same council meeting, the Mayor said, "There is an issue in Austria where a Nazi war criminal was buried in a cemetery that became a cult following and tourist attraction.", as reported by NJ.com.
Trump’s Consultant Ed Russo says his boss is well aware of the issues raised and would not let his plans intrude on the town’s genteel character.
Once permitted to build his afterworld, Trump has plans for those avid golfers who wish to have their ashes scattered throughout the greens.
Call it a fairway to heaven, members who have their ashes spread on the golf course can also elect to have a permanent memorial, such as a bust, at the burial site, says Russo.
"It’s one thing to be buried in a typical cemetery," Russo said, "but it’s another if you’re buried alongside the fifth fairway of Trump National, where golfers will hold memberships over many generations.", as reported by the Star Ledger.
Russo says the Donald is about two months from submitting the application to the state, which approves every new cemetery, as well as to the township’s Land Use Board.