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Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger describes a new brand, new properties and the ‘never settle’ philosophy

BT: You just announced a new, unnamed brand. Why now?

DANZIGER: We’re experiencing tremendous success with our luxury brand, especially now as we are about to open three high-profile locations: Trump International Hotel Washington DC; Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver; and Trump Rio De Janeiro Hotel. Given the incredible interest we are seeing, and the consumer opportunity we have identified, we believe now is the time to grow our hotel company with a new brand that targets a different type of guest. We understand that some travelers today want to be immersed and connected, and we know we can provide a unique experience for these guests. Trump Hotels is a super luxury brand, appropriate only for select A-plus locations and iconic buildings and resorts. We want to develop a brand that will allow us the flexibility to grow in other markets and with 4-star product that may be looking for a conversion opportunity.

BT: You have said the new brand will not carry the Trump name. Why?

DANZIGER: The Trump name is reserved for 5-star properties that are iconic and we want to uphold that legacy while looking at development in key gateway cities or locations that target a segment we are currently not in. This new brand has been developed in collaboration with the Trump children (Donald, Jr., Eric and Ivanka) and they definitely want to develop it in their own right separate from the core product. Each brand has its own personality and the name chosen should reflect that. It will reflect the same Trump standard of quality and excellence. There are certainly other brands out there that are targeting the Millennial mindset but none have done it the way we intend to.

BT: What will distinguish the new brand?

DANZIGER: The brand will be technology-centric with a focus on the “we” economy attracting people of all ages with a Millennial “psychographic” – people who want to connect with each other, their destinations and themselves.

BT: Where will hotels be located?

DANZIGER: We believe we will grow the new brand in the States first, although we have opportunities in global destinations including the Dominican Republic, Frankfurt, London, Munich and Tel Aviv. We have not announced specific cities at this time.

BT:  What sets the original Trump brand apart in a crowded luxury field?

DANZIGER: Our philosophy is to be uncompromising when it comes to quality, service and excellence. The Trump family has a high level of personal involvement in the selection and development of properties and upholds the family’s “never settle” philosophy. No compromises, no shortcuts, no excuses.

BT: Tell us about the Trump Hotels loyalty program.

DANZIGER: Trump Hotels’ most loyal guests receive the benefits of the Trump Card Privileges program which was recently enhanced. The new three-tiered program (member, gold and platinum levels) has created a never-before-seen level of customization in the luxury hotel industry. From pre-arrival requests to one-of-a-kind experiences, everything is tailored to a member’s preferences. The more often a guest visits, the more privileges increase, including complimentary upgrades and room nights.

BT:  How else do you target business travelers?

DANZIGER: Every guest has access to the Trump Attaché service which delivers personalized attention without intrusion. It keeps track of individual preferences privately and securely, and can arrange services such as personal shopping or a messenger. Equipment like yoga mats, stretch bands and light weights are available. And we will provide workout gear for guests who forget it, along with pre-loaded iPod Shuffles with the guest’s personal music preferences.

BT:  What can you tell us about the effect the presidential campaign has had on your business?

DANZIGER: We continue to exceed all targets across a variety of metrics, including market share, group bookings and reservations volume. We continue to outperform competitors in each market and are very enthusiastic about the future.