Skift Take

While we think it's prudent to avoid the Trump name for this brand, is it really so smart to use the same name as a line of budget-friendly cars?

Earlier this year, Trump Hotels announced it would launch a new brand in “response to the massive growth of the technology-centric ‘we-economy,'” and last night, the company finally gave it a proper name.

Not to be confused with the Millennial-focused Scion brand of cars from Toyota that will no longer exist as of 2017, Trump Hotels’ new lifestyle brand is just that: Scion.

The announcement was made at an evening reception held at the Arizona Biltmore hotel during the annual Lodging Conference.

Details about the new hotel brand, Scion, still remain unclear but, if the brand’s earlier announcement were any indication, it’s clear that Scion, like the car brand, will also be geared toward younger travelers and it won’t play in the luxury space. It’s more likely to play in the upper upscale category.

A press release noting the name said: “Scion, which means ‘descendant of a notable family,’ is a multi-faceted lifestyle brand developed in response to the boom in social clubs and the ‘we’ economy.”

Scion Trumps Trump

Since Trump began his bid for the U.S. presidency, business at his hotels has been closely watched, with many wondering if his campaign would have a negative impact on his hotels’ occupancy and revenue.

The decision to avoid using the Trump name for this new lifestyle brand seems to be a logical one, especially given the fact that multiple reports suggest the name may be hurting Trump’s hotel business.

A survey conducted by Skift in May found the Trump name association to be a troublesome one for his hotel business. Out of 1,554 responses, 56.9 percent of respondents said they were less likely to stay in a Trump Hotel because of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. On the other hand, 23.4 percent were more likely, and 19.7 percent weren’t aware Trump was in the hotel business. The numbers also showed that females were less likely to stay in a Trump Hotel.

Those most likely to stay in a Trump property were the oldest and least wealthy respondents.

A recent report released by metasearch/booking engine Hipmunk on May 24 also recently said that the share of bookings for Trump Hotels on Hipmunk for the first period of 2016 were down 59.3 percent from the same period in 2015. Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger has said there is no validity to the Hipmunk report.

Another report from Foursquare, released in August, said foot traffic at Trump-branded properties has been down an average of 16 percent year-over-year since March 2016. Foot traffic shares had been down an average of 7.4 percent overall since Donald Trump announced his U.S. presidential campaign in June 2015.

Trump’s hotel business is primarily run by his children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. The CEO of Trump Hotels is Eric Danziger, a hospitality veteran who has worked at Starwood Hotels, Wyndham Hotel Group, Carlson Hotels, and Hampshire Hotels & Resorts (now known as the Dream Hotel Group).

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Tags: trump hotels

Photo credit: Unlike the Trump Hotels brand, the new line of lifestyle-hotels from the Trump Organization will not bear the Trump name. Instead, it will be called Scion. Pictured here is the Trump Toronto. Trump Hotels

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