Skift Take

The relationship between development and operating a hotel is key.

Ivanka Trump, executive vice president of development and acquisitions at the Trump Organization, spoke today at the Skift Global Forum.

Trump is charged with the domestic and global expansion of the company’s hospitality and real estate interests, and actively participates in all aspects of both Trump and Trump-branded projects, including deal evaluation; pre-development planning; financing; design; construction, sales and marketing, and ensuring that Trump’s physical and operational standards are met. AAEAAQAAAAAAAAScAAAAJGNjMDdlYzM5LWUzZDMtNDk1OC04YzQzLTNiM2ZmMzMxZTMzOQ

Trump’s talk on “Why Obsessing Over Details is The Only Way to Build a Hospitality Luxury Brand” explored the dialogue that needs to take place between construction and development because teamwork is crucial.

Here are eight things we learned:

  • Trump says, “There are a lot of tremendous assets to the fact that we are also developers. When we are working with our partners, they trust us and appreciate the construction and development feedback that we are giving them. It isn’t critical for the sake of bring critical; it is collaborative. We like to get in from the beginning and help them articulate something that works.”
  • Developers that can speak the same language as third party owners is key.
  • The Trump team thinks of themselves as working on each project not in accordance with some overarching standard but knowing what is appropriate for that particular market while also having a very clear compass of what is luxury.
  • Getting creative is important to developing beautiful aesthetics. It’s possible to have fun with luxury and really push it to the next level if you are willing to.
  • An owner looking for an operator wouldn’t be fond of hearing that an operator doesn’t like owning the real estate. Owners like the fact that companies like Trump share their perspective on the long-term value of real estate in this particular category.
  • Increasingly, authenticity is everything in brand-building. People appreciate personality in brands when there is a deep sense of authenticity.
  • Those in the hotel industry need to know and understand what the customer values as well as have an understanding of where money is well spent and where it’s not well spent.
  • Developers and operators are often having a conversation about projects that happens “a little too late.” It’s more beneficial to get involved on a project early on rather than policing a standard after the fact.

Keep track of all the activity at this year’s Global Forum by bookmarking our #skiftforum tag.


And thanks to all the sponsors that made Skift Global Forum 2015 possible: Adobe, Amadeus, American Express, Boxever, Big Bus Tours, CendyneOne, Cheapoair, Criteo, Gogo, HelloGbye, Hornblower Cruises, MasterCard, Mindtree, National Geographic, NewsCred, Sabre, SiteMinder, Travel Channel, TurkeyHome, Uber, Underline, Virtuoso, and Yahoo.

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Tags: branding, design, hospitality, sgf2015, skift global forum

Photo credit: Ivanka Trump speaking at the Skift Global Forum in Brooklyn, New York on October 15, 2015. Greg Oates of Skift interviewed her. Skift

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