... And so the political blowback begins.
Plans have been shelved for a proposed Dallas hotel carrying the Trump Organization’s Scion brand, according to a city council member who met with the developer of the proposed $50-million project on Tuesday.
Dallas councilman Philip Kingston said he was informed by Mike Sarimsakci, founder of Alterra International, that he plans to team with a different hotel operator for the downtown site. Kingston said he met with Sarimsakci and others yesterday at Dallas City Hall at Sarimsakci’s request. The decision came after Kingston and another council member criticized the developer’s plans to go into business with President Donald Trump’s company, Kingston said.
“Mike is trying to proceed with the project but the Trump Organization is no longer the operator he is seeking to do a deal with,” Kingston said.
Neither Sarimsakci nor representatives of the Trump Organization immediately responded to calls and emails for comment after regular business hours. The news was reported earlier Wednesday by the Dallas News website.
Sarimsakci said in February that the Scion project would be funded by individual investors in countries including the U.S., Turkey, Qatar and Kazakhstan. The 220-room hotel was set to open in the first quarter of 2019. Trump’s family company, now run by his two oldest sons, would have licensed the Scion brand and managed the hotel, and didn’t plan to invest any equity capital, Sarimsakci said at the time. He said he had signed a letter of intent with the Trump Organization.
Kingston said he is a Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton in the November election. He said Trump’s anti-Mexican and anti-Muslim campaign rhetoric, along with his actions and conflicts of interest as president, influenced his objections to the Scion project.
“The president is a bad brand and we have to protect the Dallas brand,” Kingston said. “We’re trying to sell ourselves internationally as a city that’s welcome and open for business travelers, new residents, innovators, young professionals and the president is an extremely bad brand,” Kingston said. “He’s a hateful and ignorant man who says things that are hurtful to the people I care about.”
Kingston, a practicing lawyer, said Trump’s “disregard for the rule of law and for the decisions of the judiciary is specifically hurtful to me and my profession.”
The new hotel Sarimsakci plans to develop is “still likely to have foreign money backing it,” Kingston said, citing his conversation with the developer.
©2017 Bloomberg L.P. This article was written by Hui-yong Yu from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].
Skift Editor’s Note: Read Skift’s interview here with Trump Hotels’ CEO Eric Danziger. It includes a discussion about whether the Trump name could potentially impact the hotel business’ growth.
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Photo credit: A rendering of a hotel lobby, as depicted on the Scion Hotels' website. Trump Hotels was in talks to bring the Scion brand to Dallas but plans have fallen through. Trump Hotels/Scion Hotels