Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Built to be bankrupt: Trump DC hotel edition

Don't blink, or you might miss the entire lifespan of the new Trump DC hotel. Here's the scoop from the Daily Beast's Asawin Suebsaeng:
For weeknights this fall, the hotel’s least expensive rooms will run you a minimum of $735 per night. For comparison, other luxury hotels that will compete with Trump for business ring in at $400 a night at The Jefferson for October (around the time of the opening of the Trump hotel), and roughly $300 at The Willard. Both are boutique and historic hotels in the District.
The room rates at Trump’s new establishment aren’t by simple design, but by necessity.
In a filing with the General Services Administration, lawyers for one of Trump’s competitors argued that for Trump’s hotel to stay afloat, it would have to charge some of the most exorbitant rates in the nation’s capital.
“A properly conducted price reasonableness analysis would have resulted in the conclusion that the minimum base lease proposed by Trump would require Trump to obtain hotel room revenues which are simply not obtainable in this location based on the concepts for the redevelopment,” the lawyers for the competing development team wrote.
But surely you can enjoy world class dining there:
Originally, Trump had assured future patrons that his D.C. hotel would include two world-class restaurants. The two celebrity chefs, José Andrés and Geoffrey Zakarian, who had agreed to oversee the menus for their respective restaurants, pulled out of their deals shortly after Trump launched his White House run by loudly slamming Mexican immigrants as rapists. Trump, in a retaliatory strike, sued both celeb chefs. (Publicists for the chefs did not respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment on Monday.)
The hotel opens now with only one two-floor restaurant located in the lobby—BLT Prime, a chain steakhouse.
The bad news for Trump Hotels doesn’t stop there. Some industry estimates have reservations at Trump hotels down almost 60 percent since September of last year—and the word on the street is that Trump’s legal tiff with the two celebrity chefs has tanked his family and brand name in the eyes of the restaurant community.
“He’s clearly a racist and makes racist comments, and we have an industry that has always reached out to an immigrant population and built on the work of an immigrant population,” Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio, the owner of Craft who was reportedly approached by the Trump Organization after Andrés and Zakarian bailed, told Mother Jones magazine. (Colicchio is also a friend of Andrés.)
But perhaps the elegance of the surroundings will more than make up for the exorbinate room charges or the chain restaurant dining experience.
Every item of decor, from the turquoise and faux-gold armchairs to the candy dishes made out of fake dimes and nickels, was handpicked by Ivanka Trump with the help of design firm HBA. The overall aesthetic is somewhere between real, inoffensive luxury and a Red Roof Inn patron’s conception of what a stylish, upper-echelon hotel must be.
Candy dishes made out of fake dimes and nickels. Nothing but class.

This hotel will be bankrupt in months.

His other hotels seem to be taking a hit as well, as Suebsaeng noted. The Boston Globe writes:
Surveys and booking sites show that many consumers are avoiding hotels in Trump’s portfolio.
The booking site Hipmunk reported that its reservations for Trump hotels are down nearly 60 percent over this time last year.
It gets worse:
a poll from travel trend tracking website Skift found many respondents hesitant to stay in a Trump property. In the survey of more than 2,000 Americans, 56.9 percent of respondents said they were less likely to stay in a Trump hotel because of his campaign.
Only 23.4 percent said they were more likely, and almost 20 percent said they were unaware that Trump had hotels. Women were less likely to stay in a Trump Hotel than men.
Those most likely to stay in a Trump Hotel are over 65, from a rural community in the South, or earn between $50,000 and $75,000. Least likely to stay in a Trump hotel are travelers between 25 and 34.
People in the top three income tiers of the study said they were less likely to stay at a Trump hotel. That’s troublesome news for a luxury hotel chain.
Ya think?

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