The sometimes-divisive comments made by President Donald Trump have created a problem for those who have licensed the Trump brand for their hotels. Since some now refuse to stay at a Trump property because of these comments and other political disagreements with the President, hotels under the Trump brand are finding fewer patrons renting rooms, prompting certain properties to want to divest themselves of Trump Hotels company management. For example, a Panama City hotel is in the middle of a legal dispute for removing the Trump Hotels signage in a desire to distance themselves from the company’s name and managerial involvement.
Historically, Trump Hotels has focused on licensing its brand to other hotels as well as developing its own luxury line of hotels. However, Eric Danziger, CEO of Trump Hotels since 2015, says he is planning to refocus the company. “I came to help grow this business from a single brand to a multibrand hotel company that licenses, franchises and manages hotels — exactly the way most major hotel companies work,” Skift reports CEO Eric Danziger as saying in an email. “This includes management of properties that are not branded by us.” Further, Trump Hotels has created two new brands, Scion and American Idea, to help with this expansion designed to get Trump Hotels into every major metropolitan area in the U.S.
One property is in negotiations with the company to manage a planned hotel in Long Branch, NJ under development by Kushner Cos., formerly led by Jared Kushner. Jared Kushner is of course President Trumps’ step-son and a senior advisor to the President. However, Kushner had transferred his business assets to family members to avoid conflicts of interest. Nevertheless, such deals raise ethical questions, as pointed out by Jordan Libowitz, communications director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, who said that while it’s technically not a rules violation, it is something people should be concerned about.