If there’s one thing Donald Trump’s been able to achieve with any consistency, it’s a remarkable ability to poison a business by slathering his name all over it.
Casinos, steaks, vodka, airlines, travel search engines, magazines, universities, media companies – you name it, Trump’s ruined it.
The one venture he’s managed to keep afloat – real estate – has been mired in shoddiness and outright bankruptcy. And even that’s tanking.
New York Magazine reports rooms in Trump’s Washington, D.C. hotel are going for $250 under their break-even rate. According to Bloomberg, bookings at Trump hotels have fallen 29 per cent in the past six months. Travel booking site Hipmunk says reservations are down almost 60 per cent in the first half of 2016.
The solution? Drop the name.
Trump Hotels will from now on be known under the name ‘Scion’, a re-brand targeted at young, urban travellers.
One has to again question The Donald’s business discretion here given that anyone who’d stay at a property whose strings are nevertheless still pulled by Trump’s tiny hands probably isn’t young. Or travels.
Fun fact: the word ‘scion’ can be defined as “a descendant of a notable family.” Nice one.
“Our business at Trump Hotels is stronger than ever,” said the hotel chain’s executive VP, Ivanka Trump, because she has to. “We are incredibly excited about the future of Scion, the newest brand in our hotel portfolio.”
The first Scion hotel is slated to open in 2017. Locations have not been announced, likely because cities are still clamouring over who has to go first.
“We will develop this brand with the same determination and exacting standards we have become known for,” said Ivanka Trump about the new direction. Such determination should also be applied to the hotel chain’s website.
Existing properties will still operate under the Trump name until they slowly wilt into foreclosure and are repurposed for the next scheme.