The Trump name might be synonymous with real estate and reality TV, but the company is hoping to extend that level of name recognition to its fast-growing luxury hotel brand.
Established in October 2007, the Trump Hotel Collection now has nine properties in its portfolio: two in New York, and with sisters in Chicago, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Miami, Toronto, Panama and Ireland. The newest is the Trump National Doral Miami, a $250 million overhaul of the Doral Golf Resort & Spa, which Trump purchased in June 2012. Three more are poised to open in 2016: in Vancouver, British Columbia; Rio De Janeiro, Brazil; and Washington, D.C.
"We're not going to grow just to grow," Ivanka Trump, executive vice president of development and acquisitions for The Trump Organization (and daughter of Donald), told attendees of the recent NYU Hospitality Investment Conference in New York City. "We're not going to go into a market unless we are going to be the best property in that market."
Following an on-stage interview during that event, Trump sat down with M&C to discuss her approach to the meetings market.
What is unique about holding a meeting or event in a Trump Collection hotel?
First and foremost, we have an obsessive focus on service and execution. The standard meeting experience is exceptional. A lot of hotel chains roll out the same meeting again and again, and it's fatiguingly boring. We want to provide something fresh and new.
How do you deliver a unique experience?
Oh, we have a lot of fun. Very often I or my father will show up and address the group as a surprise. And I'll often call meeting planners in advance and talk to them about their goals for the event, and I'll call them again after the meeting to learn how we delivered. Our ability to innovate is by having a dialog. Some of our greatest ideas come from planners.
How has your design sense influenced the look and feel of your properties?
My father understands luxury better than anyone I've met. I represent a feminine viewpoint and a younger demographic. We push each other, and it's been a great pairing. My brothers are involved, too; we are really a family business.
What's the most important thing you've learned from your father?
Find what you're deeply passionate about. We work very hard, and we work long hours. We would fail if we weren't passionate about it. That passion shows in all the details of our properties.