Fewer people are visiting Donald Trump’s hotels and casinos. Was it something he said?


Weeks before the US election decides the fate of Donald Trump, the presidential candidate, the public seems to be voting with its feet on Donald Trump, the real-estate mogul.

The share of foot traffic to the hotels, casinos, and golf courses branded with Trump’s last name fell more than 17% in September from the prior month, according to data by location-tracking social network Foursquare provided to Quartz.

Foursquare gathered the data—on Trump and Trump-branded properties in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, Florida, and Nevada—from its 50 million monthly users’ check-ins on its Swarm and City Guide apps. Even if users don’t explicitly let others know they have “checked in” to a location, Foursquare was able to capture their location if the app was running in the background, the company said.

And the figures are for last month, when Trump had some bright(er) moments, before the US presidential election’s latest descent into darkness due to a video surfacing with Trump making crude comments about women or allegations of sexual misconduct. There is no data yet for October.

Whether Trump’s brand is permanently damaged by those latest missteps remains to be seen. A study by brand research firm Brand Keys cited by The Wall Street Journal (paywall) showed the value added by Trump’s name fell after the 2005 video in which Trump said “you can do anything” to women if you’re famous. The front of Trump’s new luxury hotel in Washington DC, a short walk from White House, was recently spray-painted with the words “black lives matter” and “no justice, no peace.”

But this campaign may not necessarily translate into lower bookings for Trump’s hotels. Booking.com told Quartz it hasn’t seen any change in bookings of Trump-named properties from this time last year. Glowing reviews of Trump hotels on TripAdvisor abound.

It could be that many people don’t want to be seen at one of these properties, but many others are fine to spend a night a night there, out of the public eye.

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