"There is no political thought to it", chief executive of the company's hotels division, Eric Danziger, said of the chain that will debut in MS, a state that the president won over Hillary Clinton by 18 percentage points. For domestic projects, it hired an ethics adviser to review any decisions that could pose a conflict with Trump's role as president.
The Chawla brothers plan to convert three MS hotels now under other franchisee names to the American Idea brand, one each in Cleveland, Clarksdale and Greenville.
Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger, from left, with Datuk Tony Tiah, Datin Alicia Tiah, Joo Kim Tiah, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump at the grand opening in February of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver. That one will open in Cleveland, Mississippi. They said they didn't support Mr. Trump during the campaign but admire his approach to business and the brands he has created.
This marks a departure from the luxury brand Trump Hotels, or the more-recently launched brand known as Scion, which offers four-star accommodations.
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Prior to the announcement, in an exclusive interview with ABC News Chief National Correspondent Tom Llamas, the brothers credited the expansion to their experience traveling the country with their father's campaign. Aptly named, it all started with an idea and has developed into three signed agreements for American IDEA properties in the Mississippi Delta area.
The Chawla brothers said their father was a refugee in India before emigrating to Canada and then the United States. Danziger said in March that he hoped to open as many as 100 Scion hotels in three years. He said he expects to announce more deals for both brands in the near future. Will local governments help the developers in securing zoning changes or permits to curry favor with the president? The new line of hotels, which will target younger clients, was unveiled last September.
After years of spinning out hotels laden with gold leaf and marble, Trump Hotels is launching a hospitality brand positioned for a different kind of clientele.
The Trump Organization canceled talks with the developer after several news articles raised questions about whether the foreign investors might try to use their investments to influence the new administration. The sons, though, have admitted to keeping Trump updated on the company's finances.