Trump is opening one of his dumps in DC. He somehow managed to win the bid to lease one of the most iconic and beautiful buildings in the city, the Old Post Office Building.
The problem here is there is no shortage of high-end Hotel space in the city. Places like the Hay Adams have been serving the city for over 100 years. The Willard, one of the historic hotels. Then there is The Jefferson. A small cut below, but wonderful are the Kimpton Donovan, Avery, Four Seasons, Mandarin, W, and St Regis… and two Ritz -Carletons…and the Rosewood
And then there are the Micro Hotels that folks seeking privacy and personal care love.
So the ugly elephant in the room (or lobby in this case) is WTF does anyone with that type of travel budget want to stay in a ticky-tacky wannabe?
I give it three years.
Donald Trump touts his supposed business acumen and his (self-proclaimed) reputation as a great “builder” as two of his greatest presidential qualifications. But in the heart of northwest Washington, D.C.—just a few blocks away from the White House he wishes to inhabit come January—it appears as though Trump has built himself one brand-new, luxuriously marbled flop.
On Monday afternoon, the real-estate mogul and Republican presidential nominee’s latest hotel finally enjoyed its soft opening (a quiet launch for invited guests that eschews all the pressures of an official grand opening) at the Old Post Office Pavilion.
The only celebrity spotted at the opening was, of all people, Oscar-nominated actor Randy Quaid (Independence Day, National Lampoon’s Vacationmovies, Brokeback Mountain), who has gone off the deep end and alleged that a Hollywood assassination squad was after him and his wife.
Asked why he was in D.C., Quaid simply pointed to Trump’s hotel and said “for this,” before jumping into a car and racing off.
The grand-opening ceremony for Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C., will reportedly take place next month, weeks before election night.In 2011, the Trump Organization beat out the competition to secure a 60-year lease from the federal government to renovate the iconic Old Post Office building. Trump broke ground on the project before officially jumping into the 2016 presidential fray last year, and he has repeatedly vowed to make his newest hotel property one of the very best in the world. Earlier this year, he used his presidential campaign to help promote and brag about the new Trump hotel.
Between now and the planned October grand opening, Trump’s D.C. venture has a way to go…
Every item of decor, from the turquoise and faux-gold armchairs to the candy dishes made out of fake dimes and nickels, was handpicked by Ivanka Trump with the help of design firm HBA. The overall aesthetic is somewhere between real, inoffensive luxury and a Red Roof Inn patron’s conception of what a stylish, upper-echelon hotel must be…
The hotel opens now with only one two-floor restaurant located in the lobby—BLT Prime, a chain steakhouse.
The bad news for Trump Hotels doesn’t stop there. Some industry estimates have reservations at Trump hotels down almost 60 percent since September of last year—and the word on the street is that Trump’s legal tiff with the two celebrity chefs has tanked his family and brand name in the eyes of the restaurant community.
“He’s clearly a racist and makes racist comments, and we have an industry that has always reached out to an immigrant population and built on the work of an immigrant population,” Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio, the owner of Craft who was reportedly approached by the Trump Organization after Andrés and Zakarian bailed, told Mother Jones magazine. (Colicchio is also a friend of Andrés.)
“I think that the remarks [Trump] makes would make it very difficult for anyone to stand up in front of their staff and want to be part of what he’s doing,” he continued.
But if none of this bothers you, and you’ve found yourself in Washington, D.C., and need a place to crash, just make sure the Trump International Hotel is in your price range.
For weeknights this fall, the hotel’s least expensive rooms will run you a minimum of $735 per night. For comparison, other luxury hotels that will compete with Trump for business ring in at $400 a night at The Jefferson for October (around the time of the opening of the Trump hotel), and roughly $300 at The Willard. Both are boutique and historic hotels in the District.
The room rates at Trump’s new establishment aren’t by simple design, but by necessity.
In a filing with the General Services Administration, lawyers for one of Trump’s competitors argued that for Trump’s hotel to stay afloat, it would have to charge some of the most exorbitant rates in the nation’s capital.
“A properly conducted price reasonableness analysis would have resulted in the conclusion that the minimum base lease proposed by Trump would require Trump to obtain hotel room revenues which are simply not obtainable in this location based on the concepts for the redevelopment,” the lawyers for the competing development team wrote.
Welcome to Trump’s D.C. hotel—perhaps a microcosm of the bigger, badder,and broke America that a President Trump could have in store.