CEO Eric Danziger has domestic and international cities in mind for the new yet-to-be-named lifestyle offering from Trump Hotels.
NEW YORK CITY—Trump Hotels is launching a new brand, this time focused on the four-star lifestyle segment.
It’s a departure from the brand’s traditional luxury offerings, but one that’s in line with what guests—and developers—are looking for, according to Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger.
“A five-star luxury brand has limits in terms of markets where it can go,” he said. “We can’t just put the name on anything just to have a deal. So we thought, should we develop another option that allows the company to grow and give owners what they want without compromising the brand?”
Enter the company’s new brand, which is yet to be named.
Named or not, Danziger said if he could sum up the theme of the brand in one word, it would be “connections.”
“Connection is not just about a technology connection, although that’s important,” he said. “It’s about connecting with other people, connecting in a work environment, connecting in a space that takes on a different atmosphere at different times in the day.”
For the new brand, that theme of connectedness translates to a robust technology backbone as well as a strong community vibe.
“We want the kind of public space that allows cooking demonstrations by a local chef, or a chance to do painting lessons,” he said. “It’s not a place to stay, but a place to be.”
The concept is modeled in part after the social club concept, like Soho House.
“We’re looking at convertible public spaces—transitional, multifunctional spaces that can bend to guest needs,” said Kathleen Flores, EVP of new brands and innovation for Trump Hotels. “We love what we’re seeing in the world, at social clubs, shared work concepts, even Uber and Airbnb. People want to connect with each other.
Danziger said he anticipates this brand could reach the triple digits, via a development path that will be “99% conversions,” with some new-builds.
As for right now, Danziger—who joined the company as its first-ever CEO last August—said talks are continuing and he anticipates the first five deals done before the end of the year as managed deals.
“The competitors might be a little different. There might be some W Hotels. Ace Hotels. Andaz, or Kimpton.”
Danziger said that despite any distraction from Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, the core Trump Hotels brand “is moving incredibly well both domestically and definitely in Europe, Asia and some parts of Latin America.”
This year the company will open three hotels: Trump International Hotel & Tower in Vancouver, British Columbia; Trump Rio de Janiero Hotel; and Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The brand has nine hotels open, including one in Ireland, one in Panama and one in Toronto.
That international focus will be big for the brand moving forward, Danziger said. Markets he and his team are looking at include the Dominican Republic, London, Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam and Tel Aviv.
“We’re working, and it’s exciting because there’s engagement,” he said.
“Up until last year, the company was seen as a developer and owner,” he said. “Now it’s about management and brand, too. It opened up an entirely different channel. Because the genesis of the company was as owners, it made us pretty good operators too.”
While he said the core Trump Hotels brand would likely never enter the franchising space, the new brand might be a contender for that model down the road.