Unit-owners at 220 Riverside Boulevard, the last remaining branded condo in Trump Place on the Upper West Side, voted recently to remove the T-word from their building’s facade. It’s not just condos that are benefitting from shucking the Trump name. Hotels from Toronto to New York to Panama City are enjoying financial rewards for making this increasingly popular move. Call it the Dump-Trump Bump.
Since the former Trump SoHo condo-hotel tower changed its name to the Dominick in December 2017, the languishing business has done a complete 180, Bloomberg reports. At a time when New York’s luxury and upper-upscale hotels are flagging – with demand, revenues, and occupancy all stagnant or slowing – the Dominick’s revenue per available room rose more than 20 percent from a year earlier, recovering fully from a prolonged slump.
“Often times, changing your name alone is not the answer to turning around your business,” says Gesina Gudehus-Wittern, director of IpsosStrategy3, a branding consulting firm. If something is wrong with the product itself, changing what you call it won’t make a difference, she says. The Mondrian SoHo, a competitor to the Dominick, for example, has continued to sell at below-market rates after going bankrupt and then being sold and rebranded as NoMo SoHo. “But if the challenge is in the name itself – if it no longer plays the role it was intended to play and has become a liability instead,” she says, “the solution can be as simple as that.”
“And frankly,” adds Donna Olshan, president of Olshan Realty, “having a Trump hotel in SoHo just feels like an oxymoron at this point.”
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