Wikimedia Commons - Gage Skidmore
President Donald Trump built his hotel brand with luxury properties aimed at high-income travelers visiting pricey locales such as New York, Chicago, Miami and Washington. Now his company is moving down-market.
Trump Hotels’ newest chain, to be called American Idea, will be found initially in smaller towns -- the first three are planned for the Mississippi cities of Clarksdale, Greenville and Cleveland -- and will compete in the mid-tier hotel category. That’s a segment already stuffed with brands, including Courtyard by Marriott, Hyatt Place and Hilton Garden Inn. Therein lies an opportunity, said Eric Danziger, chief executive officer of Trump Hotels.
“I love that it’s crowded,” Danziger said in an interview. “They are all, in my mind, homogeneous -- same properties with different names. Look at things like Hampton Inns, Fairfield Inns, Holiday Inn Express, just keep going -- you know, Wingate, Baymont. All the mid-scale brands basically are the same, with a different brand name.”
American Idea properties will set themselves apart by being “specific to the local area, steeped in some American heritage,” Danziger said. A hotel might be decorated with a vintage firetruck once used in the area, or feature clothes hangers made by a local factory. They’ll also be much less expensive than Trump Hotels’ existing properties, where rooms run from hundreds of dollars to well over $1,000 a night. At the new Mississippi hotels, prices may start at just $65 a night, said Dinesh Chawla, whose company will own the three properties, licensing the American Idea name.