Trump Organization launches budget hotel chain “American Idea”

The first hotels will open in Mississippi

<em>From left: Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump (credit: Getty)</em>
From left: Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump (credit: Getty)

The Trump Organization plans to launch a budget hotel chain that will first target areas of the country that favored President Trump during the presidential election.

American Idea, a three-star hotel chain, will debut in Mississippi and will partner with Chawla Hotels, another chain based in the state, the New York Times reported. Trump met the company’s co-owner, Suresh Chawla, during a campaign stop in Jackson, Mississippi, last summer.

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The new hotel chain will feature American-themed items like an old Coca-Cola machine and will be a distinct departure for the Trump Organization [TRDataCustom], which has built up its reputation as a luxury brand. The Trump Organization will not own the hotels but license them to business partners, who will pay royalties and other fees.

The new chain follows the Trump Organization’s promise to embark on new deals in the United States and reflects Trump’s campaign slogan, “America first.” Eric Danziger, the chief executive of the Trump Organization’s hotels division, told the Times that the decision to launch the new hotel chain was not related to politics. President Trump’s name will not appear on the hotels.

Chawla is also partnering with the company on its other recently launched hotel brand, Scion. Trump has drawn considerable criticism for refusing to divest from his business. Though his sons now control the Trump Organization, the president remains financially invested in the business. [NYT] Kathryn Brenzel