Trump Hotels executives cannot change the controversial statements that Republican presidential nominee and real estate mogul Donald Trump has made. But they can control their own branding.
The Trump Organization, which runs hotels, golf courses and other lines of Trump-branded businesses, is developing a new line of hotels that won’t bear the name of their founder. The new chain, which launches next year, is called Scion.
Scion hotels will be a notch below the luxury hotels that Trump Hotels are known for. Their target clients will be ”today’s thinkers and makers,” according to Trump Hotels chief executive Eric Danziger. ”Scion, which means ‘descendant of a notable family,’ is a multi-faceted lifestyle brand developed in response to the boom in social clubs and the ‘we’ economy,” the Trump Organization said last month in a press release unveiling the name.
Other hotel companies have also turned to the power of branding to court fickle travelers. Marriott, for example, has the Moxy brand, while Hyatt operates The Unbound Collection.
The company never planned on using the Trump name for the new hotel line, a spokesperson said, and will continue to open other properties with Trump’s name.
These are tough times for the Trump brand. Demonstrators have swarmed Trump hotels to protest the presidential nominee’s public comments about immigrants, Muslims and women. Foot traffic at Trump-branded properties has waned, Foursquare says. Consumers are boycotting brands run by Trump’s daughter Ivanka, and some residents at Trump-named properties in New York want the nominee’s name removed from the building, the New York Times reported (paywall).
But other Trump-branded hotels are doing just fine in this election cycle. Two Trump properties—the Trump National Doral Miami and Trump International Beach Resort Miami—took the #6 and #15 spots, respectively, in Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards 2016, in the Top Resorts in Florida (Atlantic) category. Booking.com told Quartz that it hasn’t observed any change in bookings of Trump-named properties over the past year.
On Oct. 26, Donald Trump and his children cut the ribbon at his latest project, the more than $200 million Trump International Hotel in the converted Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue, just blocks from the White House. A few dozen protesters showed up at the ceremony’s planned location, the Washington Post reported.