Trump Pushes Ahead with New Hotel Brand

Last year, Trump Hotels announced plans to launch a new millennial-focused hotel brand. Dubbed Scion, the chain will be the first of the company’s brands to not bear the Trump name. In January, Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger told The Wall Street Journal that 17 letters of intent had already been signed with potential Scion hotel owners.

Trump Hotels has also released additional details about the brand. Aside from being a business hotel chain, Scion will be positioned as a lifestyle brand that targets millennials. In a departure from Trump Hotels’ ultra-luxurious properties, Scion hotels will be smaller, have more communal spaces and offer lower nightly rates. Rooms will be priced from $200 to $300 per night.

According to the Associated Press, an aggressive roll-out of the Scion brand should be expected. Trump Hotels plans to open 100 of properties within three years. In a recent statement to the Associated Press, Danziger said the project is going “…full steam ahead.”

In February, Dallas News reported that a Dallas development company was in negotiations with Trump Hotels to build a $50 million Scion property in downtown Dallas. “It’s the next-generation business hotel for cost-conscious travelers,” developer Mike Sarimsakci told Dallas News.

A controversy in the making?

Critics have questioned President Trump’s involvement in the Trump Organization. The president previously stated that he would not talk to his children about the business. In January, he relinquished control to his sons, but continues to maintain his stake in the company. However, Eric Trump recently contradicted that in an interview with Forbes, stating that he will give his father quarterly reports on “the bottom line, profitability… and stuff like that…”

Potential funding conflicts are also raising concerns. As is common with major hotel chains, Trump Hotels will not be funding the Scion properties. Local developers will be expected to find investors to pay for these projects. Naturally, this raises questions of investors spending money on Trump Hotels in an effort to curry favor with the White House. In a comment to Forbes, Richard Painter, President George W. Bush’s former chief ethics lawyer, said that “…at the end of the day, he owns the business. He has the conflicts that come with it.”

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