Thursday, November 23, 2017

Trump's Toxic Brand Is Now Less Than Worthless


Every time another Trump property is called out for being a major hub or criminal activity-- like in Baku and more recently, Panama City, the Trump's go to great lengths to explain that they don't own the hub and they don't know anything about it... all they do is rent the building Trump's name. In fact, all his bullshit about being a multibillionaire was always based on the "value" of his name as a brand. Before he moved into the White House, he owned about $940 million in real stuff you can sell but the $10 billion dollar claims about his worth were all based on his brand being worth any random number of billions of dollars.

Well, it turns out the nearly bankrupt Trump Soho is paying him for his name--paying him to take it down and end any association between the hotel and the toxic Trump brand. Back in April we mentioned that the Trump Soho's sushi restaurant, Koi, shut down. Grubstreet explained that "his controversial campaign’s harsh rhetoric and administration’s agenda have made many potential customers uneasy about giving their business to Trump’s properties. Residents of Manhattan’s Trump Place successfully changed their property’s name, two celebrity chefs famously backed out of D.C.’s Trump International Hotel and others were unwilling to replace them, and Trump’s new line of hotels won’t bear his name. Then last December, a month after three NBA teams announced they wouldn’t stay at his hotels, members of the Cleveland Cavaliers (including Black Lives Matter supporter LeBron James) refused to stay at the Trump Soho. Now, that hotel’s restaurant operator, Koi, an international chainlet of sushi spots for beautiful people, is shuttering its outpost there. But this isn’t a closing as usual. It’s collateral damage from the rise of Trump." Trump's name will come off the hotel and the Trump Organization will cease managing the property.
Trump SoHo has emerged as one of the clearest examples of how Trump's divisive politics have redefined his luxury hotel and real estate company, which spent years courting upscale customers in liberal urban centers where he is now deeply unpopular.

...The deal to remove the Trump name was made with the Trump SoHo condominium board and the property's majority owner, CIM Group, a California-based real estate investment firm. The hotel is divided into condominiums whose owners allowed them to be rented out as hotel rooms.

"We recognize and sincerely appreciate [the Trump Organization's] contributions to this exceptional asset," Bill Doak, CIM Group's first vice president of hotels, said in a statement.

The release did not specify what the building would be renamed or who would run it. Trump Organization and CIM Group officials declined to answer questions about the reasons for the move.

Officials described the transaction as a "buyout" but did not specify whether any money changed hands between the Trump Organization and the building's owners. The president's business now receives 5.75 percent of the hotel's operating revenue as a management fee, according to company documents posted online by Reuters.

This will be the third time since Trump's election that his name has been removed from a building. In July, the Trump name was taken off the Trump International Hotel in Toronto after the property's owner reached a similar buyout deal. The hotel will be reopened as a St. Regis, according to the Toronto Star.

And last year, the owners of three Trump Place apartment buildings in New York announced that those properties would be renamed after tenant complaints. Trump's company no longer had a business relationship with the buildings.

...[T]he Trump Organization has seen greens-fee revenue fall at its golf courses in Los Angeles and the Bronx, and it has lost dozens of customers who rented out banquet rooms for parties or golf courses for charity tournaments.

One of the biggest changes has happened at Mar-a-Lago, the president's for-profit social club, which doubles as the "winter White House" in Palm Beach, Florida. Last summer, 19 charities canceled galas or other fundraisers they had planned for this winter at Mar-a-Lago, costing the Trump Organization hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

The SoHo hotel was once a jewel of the Trump empire. Opened in 2010, it offered Hudson River views, a spa named after Ivanka Trump and a location in one of New York's most fashionable neighborhoods. Trump promoted the property on his reality show The Apprentice.

In 2012, prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney's office scrutinized the property's development as part of an investigation into whether Trump's children Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. committed fraud by misleading condo buyers about the project, according to a report last month from ProPublica, WNYC and the New Yorker. District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. decided not to pursue charges.

In its early days, the hotel attracted Hollywood celebrities and many NBA teams. "When I stay here in New York, I'm at the Trump SoHo," Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook told GQ in 2014, saying the hotel's luxe lobby had inspired his fashion designs.

But by this year, at least 11 of the 12 NBA teams that previously stayed at Trump SoHo had quit. Some cited logistical reasons. Others said they could not stay at a hotel with Trump's name on it.

"The president has seemingly made a point of dividing us as best he can," Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr told the Washington Post in an interview earlier this year. His team quit using Trump SoHo in 2016. "He continually offends people, and so people don't want to stay at his hotel," Kerr said. "It's pretty simple."

Trump SoHo hotel rates have fallen dramatically. Rooms are routinely offered online for below $300 a night. Luxury Manhattan hotels took in an average daily rate of $451 in the second quarter of this year, according to the accounting and consulting firm PWC.

The Trump Organization does have plans to expand its hotel business, targeting areas where Trump's political brand is more popular.

Those plans include two new, less-expensive brands of hotels called Scion and American Idea. But since those brands were announced in June, progress has been slow. The three discount hotels that were supposed to start the American Idea brand are still operating under their old names.

And at the site chosen for the first Scion hotel, in Cleveland, Mississippi, construction stopped weeks ago while Trump Organization and its partners reworked plans.

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At 6:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This would be the only possible good outcome of this guy being elected. Now EVERYONE knows what a total asswipe he is and most will divest forever. His voters are a third of americans, but nearly all of them haven't the means to buy his shit anyway. Same goes for his purely evil scions.

Might be the only good that comes out of our 37-year (and counting) foray into corrupt fascist naziism.

At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stocking up on popcorn in case the Republicans decide that Trump has to go in order to defend their own corruption from exposure.

At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel one of Trump's main agendas in running for President was to promote his precious brand while subsidizing his operations with our money. Trumps deserve to loose bigly.

I've got faith that sufficient evidence for convictions of all involved will result from Mueller's investigation. Trump and his clan should have the full extent of the law brought down upon them for the damage they've done to our nation. Our citizens deserve justice including impeachment with charges of obstruction, treason, and laundering with IRS fines.

Lock'um up!


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