Daniel Ruth: Imagining a Trump for St. Petersburg's Pier

Published Oct. 6, 2016

If everyone will gather together, we can begin our tour of St. Petersburg's long-awaited Trump Pier. As you can see, it is the greatest, most exciting and obviously huuuuuuugest pier in the history of piers.

We think you'll be particularly impressed with a bright yellow dome capping off Trump Pier highlighted by a statue depicting the mogul as Alexander the Great. Did I mention it was huuuuuuuge?

Mr. Trump was delighted to rush to the aid of St. Petersburg — especially in an election year — when the city came up a bit short to complete the pier construction process after years of dilly-dallying, not to mention shilly-shallying, to move the project forward.

Plenty of time and money was wasted as various groups kvetched over the design of a new pier to replace the old structure, an inverted pyramid that was a crime against Quonset huts everywhere.

Now the pier effort is down to its last measly $66 million. And the way things were going with continued community nitpicking it was possible this thing was going to wind up looking like a glorified lean-to with a gland problem.

Thus it was when the possibility of selling off endorsement deals surrounding the pier arose, Mr. Trump seized upon the opportunity faster then when he tried to corner the gullible market with Trump University.

Many city big shots insisted that any sponsorship deals associated with the pier project would have to be dignified and understated. But let's be realistic. With the pier effort behind schedule and facing the very real prospect it might well resemble the mini-Stonehenge prop from This Is Spinal Tap, the city could find itself entertaining a deal with Chernobyl Power & Light.

If you'll follow me, we'll take a look at the marketing, promotional and branding potential for associating your business with Trump Pier, which was built with leftover materials from the Mexican wall.

Off to your far right, you'll see Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's ATM kiosk, which only accepts deposits. It's a beautiful thing.

We're also very proud of the BP Oil promenade leading up to an eternal flame in the shape of a orange comb-over.

The 1-800-Ask Gary Parking Lot will feature on-site chiropractors and personal injury lawyers 24 hours a day to accommodate the rare (wink-wink, nod-nod) possibility of a slip and fall injury by a visitor to the Trump Pier and Casino.

We didn't mention the casino? It will be great! Mr. Trump already has lined up Wayne Newton to warble a few ditties. Fabulous, simply fabulous.

Working through protracted negotiations, Mr. Trump personally inked American Standard to the exclusive loo contract for Trump World & Spa. We didn't mention the spa? It will be terrific, believe me! Mr. Trump already has lined up Richard Simmons to conduct Zumba classes. It'll be . . . well, you know.

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Naturally, before moving forward with the Trump Mar-a-Pier & Steak House deal, the city announced it would hire a consultant to evaluate how best to monetize the project. Ca-ching.

We didn't mention the restaurant featuring Trump meat? It only happens to be the best meat in the world since meat was invented.

It's come to this?

What began as a process to create a piece of functional public artwork to adorn an elegant city's waterfront has steadily devolved into a nervous search for cash to get the job done without the whole thing looking like South of the Border-On the Bay.

Is there a name for this?


How about the Panhandler Pier?