The Trump Organization is set to launch a budget-minded “three-star hotel chain with a patriotic flair, echoing President Trump’s campaign slogan about putting America first and reflecting the organization’s promise to enter into new deals only in the United States,” the New York Times reports:
The intention is to differentiate the chain, called American Idea, by featuring artifacts of American culture in the hotels, such as an old Coca-Cola machine in the lobby or American-made sundries in the rooms.
And while the Trump Organization and its business partner say the down-market move is not about politics, the president’s business is inherently viewed through that lens: The chain will make its debut in little-known towns in Mississippi, a state in the heart of Trump country that favored him over Hillary Clinton by a margin of 18 percentage points. The organization’s business partner in Mississippi is a family-owned hotel company whose co-owner met Mr. Trump at a campaign event last summer and donated to his campaign.
This new chain is an unlikely venture for a company commonly associated with luxury accommodations in upscale locations, and it indicates that the Trumps see dollar signs in the vast support the campaign received from conservative areas well beyond major cities. The first hotels are expected to come online quickly because they will involve rebranding existing properties like Holiday Inns and Comfort Inns.
In recent interviews, various Trump Org executives gave hints that an affordable Trump Hotel was on the way. In April 2016, they filed for a trademark on the 'American Idea' name.
PHOTO: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump talks to members of the media at Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., December 21, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria