Trump returning to 'Apprentice' roots?


Real estate mogul Donald Trump may go back the roots of his hit NBC television series, "The Apprentice."

Rather than having celebrities compete weekly to win money for their favorite charities, Trump is considering the show’s original concept; young go-getters vying for a $250,000-a-year job with the Trump Organization.

Only this time, the competitors might be people who lost their jobs during the current recession. Even if the competitors hear Trump’s signature “you’re fired” catch line, an appearance on the show might impress potential employers.

Call it the “Trump Economic Stimulus Package.”

“We’re considering doing the original Apprentice idea again, ” Trump told Inside Gaming during an interview Friday. “We’ve been given two more seasons, so one of the seasons might be the original Apprentice.”

Trump said he wants to film another series of “Celebrity Apprentice.” Comedienne Joan Rivers won the recently concluded season, beating out poker player Annie Duke.

“We have many, many celebrities who want to be part of the show,” Trump said.

As for Las Vegas, Trump is not discouraged by the lack of sales closings at the Trump International, his $1.2 billion condominium and hotel tower located near the Strip behind the empty site that once housed the New Frontier.

Trump said sales have closed on 30 percent of the 1,282 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. Analysts, however, have put the closing figure in the low 20 percent range.

“People can’t get financing. That’s the bottom line,” Trump said.

The Trump International is now operating predominately as a luxury non-gaming hotel. The property’s Web site shows nightly room rates starting at about $150 per night up to the low $300 per night range, depending on the unit’s location in the 64-story tower.

Several travel Web sites show mid-week stays of below $100 a night at Trump International.

“It’s a great property and I still love Las Vegas,” Trump said.