NEW YORK — Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger said the company is looking to expand beyond the “Trump” brand as it debuts a new budget line of hotels called American Idea that tries to tap into patriotism in the less urban corners of the country.
“Two years ago, we were a one-brand company. It was ‘Trump,’ and that’s all there is,” he said Tuesday at a conference on hospitality hosted by New York University.
Since becoming president, Donald Trump has eased back from his business empire, but has not cut financial ties with the Trump Organization. His adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, now run the operation and say they do occasionally brief their father on the financials.
While the company has pledged to pull back on foreign investment, it has still sought to expand rapidly in other areas, with Danziger earlier this year saying he would like to eventually enter all 26 major metropolitan areas.
Late last year, Trump Hotels debuted a new luxury brand, Scion, and this week it rolled out American Idea, which according to the New York Times, will first pop up in small towns in Mississippi.
“We chose to say, no, we’re really in the hotel business,” Danziger said. “If you’re in the hotel business, you should have product lines that address different customers.”
Donald Trump, Jr. said the inspiration for American Idea, which has “nothing to do with politics,” came while he and his brother, Eric, traveled the United States during the 2016 presidential campaign and stayed in subpar local hotels, he said in a recent interview.
“There are plenty of people who desire different levels of products,” Danziger said. “We have three [brands] currently … What I would never want to do is cannibalize from each other. That’s not helpful, I think, so, we, we’re very careful about the segment, as most people are.”
Approached by POLITICO, Danziger declined to be interviewed.