(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s hotel-management company plans to triple the number of its namesake luxury hotels through a U.S. expansion, and will open the first of its new lower-priced Scion-branded properties this year, its chief executive officer said.
“There are 26 major metropolitan areas in the U.S., and we’re in five,” Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger said after a panel discussion Tuesday at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit in Los Angeles. “I don’t see any reason that we couldn’t be in all of them eventually.”
Having Trump hotels in 26 cities would triple the current total. Trump’s company manages eight namesake hotels in the U.S., some of which the Trump family owns. Danziger said that Trump Hotels is considering opening luxury properties in Dallas, Seattle, Denver and San Francisco, where he started his career in 1971 as a bellman at a Fairmont hotel. Danziger joined Trump Hotels in August 2015.
Trump’s hotel business consists mainly of branding and management contracts. His Washington property has become the focus of controversy because of concern that foreign-government patronage could violate the constitutional ban on emoluments, and because no elected official is allowed to benefit from the lease on the building, which is rented from the federal government. Democratic lawmakers have called on Trump to divest his businesses to avoid conflicts of interest, and he has refused to do so.
Besides the four-month-old Washington hotel, there are two properties in New York, one in Chicago, one in Las Vegas, and the Trump National Doral golf resort in Miami. A new luxury hotel in Vancouver is set to have its grand opening next month.
Trump turned over management of his company, the Trump Organization, to his two elder sons and pledged no new foreign deals during his term. New Trump-branded luxury hotels would be only in major cities, while Scion properties will also be located in secondary and tertiary cities, Danziger said during the panel discussion at the lodging conference.
“Both brands and any others we create will have a domestic emphasis for the next four or eight years,” he said, drawing laughter from the audience.
Shortly before the Nov. 8 election, Danziger told media in Hong Kong that the company, as part of an international expansion, had plans for hotels in China -- a country Trump has repeatedly criticized over trade deals and U.S. job losses. “That’s pretty much off,” Danziger said during the panel discussion, again drawing laughter.
The first Scion hotel is slated to open this year, Danziger said, declining to say where it will be located. Planned Scion hotels range in size from 72 rooms to 800, he said.
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