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It Never Rains on Donald Trump


The skies are always blue in the spin zone.

As Floyd Norris pointed out in The New York Times today, Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. (TRMP) has "no buyer in sight," sending shares to ten bucks and change from an assumed value of $14.60 per share by the bankruptcy court in May, 2005.

Most executives would have seen filing for Chapter 11 as slightly less than a positive turn of events.

Not Donald Trump.

In various interviews at the time, he described the situation as "wonderful," "an amazing, amazing deal," and "positive for everybody."

Roger Gros, editor and publisher of Global Gaming Business magazine, said, "He's going to get back in the ballgame and be one of the elite players."

Well, things haven't quite worked out exactly as planned.

In FY '06, TRMP lost $18.5 mln on revenues of $1 bln.

In terms of revenue, Trump Plaza and Trump Marina have ranked 10th and 11th out of Atlantic City's 11 casinos.

However, Trump's Atlantic City casinos are in the midst of a makeover. Is a facelift what the company needs to lift it out of its doldrums?

Interim CEO Mark Juliano seems to think so.

"The refurbishment is going along nicely," he said. "We are looking forward to a great summer."

Company spokesman Tom Hickey said, "We will continue to focus on our strategic operating plan, which has produced strong results for us."


Shareholders might disagree.

Had you invested $10,000 in Trump when the company went public -as Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts- in 1994, it would be worth all of $636 today.

Hey, wait- it's going to be a "strong summer," right?

And TRMP is going to focus on its strategic operating plan, which has "produced strong results" for them, correct?

Sounds almost like a gushing, over-the-top blurb on a movie poster.

Speaking of which, I'm thinking about checking out a film this weekend.

Paging through the newspaper, a full-page ad for the new Robin Williams vehicle License to Wed caught my eye.

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It's gotten incredible reviews, from what I can tell. Sounds like it could even be an Oscar contender!

The featured blurb reads:

"Wildly entertaining! A laugh-out-loud hilarious romp!"

That's from Greg Russell, of Movie Show Plus, which, according to the Movie Show Plus MySpace page (they don't have a website) is "a fun and exciting program where we highlight the movies that will be premiered (sic) every weekend" and "airs on TV 20 Detroit Sunday's (sic) at 12 pm as well as the Middle Eastern Broadcasting Network, which airs in all 50 states, the Middle East, Canada and Mexico Thursday's (sic) at 10:00 pm."

Mose Persico of CTV Montreal's Entertainment Spotlight says License to Wed is "A hilarious date movie! Couples young and old will love this movie!"

Must be a winner-Mike Sargent, WBAI Radio's Nitehawk (who broadcasts from midnight to 3 am), calls License to Wed "The funniest comedy of the year!"

And Sarah Zapp, host of 'New England Newsmakers with Sarah Zapp' (broadcast only in the New England region) on the Comcast Network's CN8, says, "This one will keep you laughing all summer long!"

Wait a minute…hold on...what's this?

A conflicting review?

A certain Joanne Kaufman from some rag called The Wall Street Journal says, "The inert License to Wed shambles along, one lame scene after another."

Have you ever heard of the Hollywood Reporter? Some wet blanket over there named Kirk Honeycutt says, "Comedies don't get much lamer than License to Wed."

Brian Lowry of Variety (a free local pamphlet, I'm assuming) says, "Unleashing Robin Williams in the least-flattering possible manner, License to Wed squanders the modest chemistry between its appealing central couple, uniting its elements in an astonishingly flat romantic comedy."

"Unleashing Robin Williams in the least-flattering possible manner?"

In the advertisement, syndicated columnist Cindy Pearlman says "Robin Williams is at his best!"

Who's telling the truth here?

Someone named A.O. Scott from a fly-by-night operation called The New York Times says License to Wed "is only the latest attempt by a Hollywood studio to pander to prurience and piety in a single gesture, and to avoid giving offense by treating all possible factions of the public equally, which is to say like idiots."

Wesley Morris of something called The Boston Globe says, "This is the sort of lobotomized, condescendingly lazy movie that leaves you resentful of Hollywood."

And Christy Lemire of The Associated Press (Associated what?), says, "Here's how bad License to Wed is: Even the outtakes at the end are lame."

Gosh, who to believe?

I have no idea.

But Donald Trump would never stretch the truth.

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